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Theological Seminary, 

BL 225 .H4 1870 
c Harris, John, 1802-1856 
The pre-Adamite earth 

Book, "•^' -•■■■ 














18 70. 



Preface . 7 

Primabt Truths 13 

Principles deduciblb from the preceding Truths . 50 

Inorganic Nature «4 

Organic Life 129 

Sentient Existence 176 


Note A, referred to in paga 

B li u a 

Q (( U (( 

D « 

E " " " 

Q U u i 

H " " " 



13 271 

75 273 

77 282 

131 283 

180 287 

218 290 

213 , , . . . 291 

231 292 

*^* It may save the reader some trouble to be apprised, that the 
order in which the Principles are stated in the Second Part is not 
the order in which they are subsequently illustrated. The order in 
which they are illustrated in the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Parts, is 
the same. 


The present volume is intended to be the first of a short 
series of Treatises — each complete in itself — in which the 
principles or laws hereafter deduced, and applied to the succes- 
sive stages of the pre- Adamite earth, will be seen in their his- 
torical development as applied to individual man; to the family 
to the nation ; to the Son of God as " the second Adam, the 
Lord from heaven ;" to the church which he has founded ; to 
the revelation which he has completed ; and to the future pros- 
pects of humanity. It would not be difficult to state the rea- 
sons which have induced me to adopt this particular method 
of exhibiting theological science ; to specify the points in which 
it differs from those methods which may be considered most 
nearly to resemble it ; and to enlarge on the advantages, di- 
rect and indirect, which it is proposed to secure by it. But, 
besides that such topics, if introduced at all, would require to 
be treated at considerable length, I would rather that the 
method adopted should, as it is gradually unfolded in the suc- 
cessive Treatises, be allowed to speak for itself. If any ex- 
planatory remarks respecting it are deemed necessary, they 
will, it appears to me, be more in place at the close of the Se- 
ries than at the commencement. 

This first volume consists of five parts. Of these, the first 
par*^ contains those Primary Truths which Divine Revelatioi) 


appears to place at the foundation of all the objective manifes- 
tations of the Deity ; the second, presents the Laws or Gene- 
ral Principles, which are regarded as logically resulting from 
the preceding Truths ; and the third, fourth, and fifth parts, 
are occupied with the Exemplification and Verification of these 
Laws in the inorganic, the vegetable, and the animal kingdoms 
of the pre-Adamite earth, respectively. From this statement 
it will be seen that the first two parts are here as introductory, 
not to the present volume merely, but to the entire series ; and 
that, as exhibiting the process by which the method has been 
arrived at, they will not require, except in substance, to be 
subsequently repeated. 

As Revealed Theology is here seen in organic connection 
with natural science, a few remarks explanatory of that con- 
nection will not be deemed irrelevant. Of the theology itself, 
I will only say, at present, that it is that which I believe ; but, 
inasmuch, as it is exhibited in mere human forms of thought 
and language, I can, of course, expect that others will accede 
to it only as far as they believe it to be in harmony with " the 
true sayings of God." Nor can I be insensible that the laws 
deduced from it will be prejudiced in some minds, by the no- 
tion that the adoption of them involves the reception of the 
theology. But as views deducible from the highest grounds 
are generally found to be inferrible also from lower and ana- 
logical premises, it should be considered, in the present in- 
stance, whether these laws might not be accepted on such in- 
ferior grounds without committing the recipient to any ulterior 
views. Even less than this, however, is necessary. For, if 
the reader should demur to adopt the Laws as they are de- 
duced from the Primary Truths of the first Part, he has to 
consider whether he is not called on to admit them, as they are 
sustained and inductively verified by the facts adduced in the 
three concluding Parts. These facts, I may remark in pass- 
ing, admit of almost indefinite multiplication, but it has been 
my aim to adduce only such and so many as appeared essen- 
tial to the verificaiion of the laws. 


Of the connection between theology and natural science 
generally, it may be assumed that every one who admits that 
there is a true theology and a true science of nature, will ad- 
mit also that there is a sense, whatever it may be, in which the 
two are related. The mind which elicits and embraces both, 
is one ; so that, however distinct the process by which it ar- 
rives at the knowledge of each, and however different the 
sources and kinds of evidence on which that knowledge rests, 
both branches evince their inherent unison, in the unity of the 
knowing mind itself. On this conviction it is that men no 
sooner begin to think, than they next proceed to examine the 
laws of thought ; if they collect facts, they next inquire for 
the causes of those facts ; and when they have succeeded in 
developing any of the sciences, they then look for the internal 
bond of union which makes them all one. And for such a 
nexus they seek under the unquestioned conviction that it 
exists; for the conviction simply implies that, as reasoning 
concerning each separate science is possible, so reasoning con- 
cerning collective science must be possible. 

Well had it been for theology and philosophy if the bond 
which unites them had been clearly ascertained, and never dis- 
severed. But the erroneous views which some have enter- 
tained respecting the relation of the two, have originated evils 
only less than those flowing from their unnatural separation. 
The error of Descartes and his followers consisted, not in mak- 
ing theology the point of their philosophy, but in regarding 
their metaphysical deductions as adequate to explain all physi- 
cal phenomena. By reasoning only, a priori, or proceeding 
continually downwards from cause to effect, they were, not 
questioning Nature, but answering for her; legislating, in 
effect, where God had legislated already ; and so " building a 
world upon hypothesis." i There is, however, a wide inter- 
val between the extreme which makes everything of a prin- 

' Introduction to Butler's Analogy, &c. 


ciple, and that which seeks security from it, by abandoning 
the principle altogether. 

As surely as the mind is one, the truth to which the mind 
is preconfigured is one. On this ground it is that we argue 
from the known to the unknown ; approach a subject of inquiry 
under the guidance of an antecedent probability as to what we 
shall find in it ; and employ analogy and hypothesis as instru- 
ments of scientific discovery. " How," inquires Plato, " can 
you expect to find unless you have a general idea of what you 
seek ?" " The mind," says Lord Bacon, " must bring to every 
experiment a ' precogitation,' or antecedent idea, as the ground 
of that ' prudens qusestio,' " which he pronounces to be the prior 
half of the knowledge sought — " dimidium scientias." Indeed, is 
not the Novum Organum itself of hypothetical origin? "When 
Newton said, ' Hypotheses non fingo,' he did not mean that he 
deprived himself of the facilities of investigation afforded by 
assuming, in the first instance, what he hoped ultimately to be 
able to prove. Without such assumptions, science could never 
have attained its present state ; tKey are necessary steps in the 
progress to something more certain; and nearly everything 
which is now theory was once hypothesis. Even in purely 
experimental science, some inducement is necessary for trying 
one experiment rather than another."^ These hypotheses, as 
the language impHes, are only provisional. They must be of 
a nature to admit of verification ; and be actually subjected to 
a test which shall confirm or explode them. 

In the same provisional manner might principles derived 
from the domain of revealed theology be advantageously carried 
into the province of nature. There is a true deductive method 
in science as well as a false ; and there is a right method of 
employing theological principles in philosophy, as well as a 
wrong. Everything depends on the manner in which they are 
employed. The inductive conclusion must be kept distinct 
from the speculative assumption. However fruitful the de- 

* Mill's System of Logic, vol. ii. p. 18. 


ductive principle may be, it can be used only for suggestion,' 
not for demnostration ; the froof of the view suggested must 
be of the samenature with that of the subject investigated or 

In the following pages, the principles introduced are to be 
regarded as employed only in this conditional manner. The 
reader is to view them, as far as their application to nature 
is concerned, as entirely tentative or provisional, until their 
applicability has been tested. If on a comparison of the in- 
ductive truth adduced, with these deductive principles, their 
applicability is apparent, let the obvious inference be accepted, 
that there is a theology in nature which is ultimately one with 
the theology of the Bible — that there are principles of varied 
but universal application. 

The attempt which is here made to deduce such principles, 
and to apply them to the successive stages of creation, proceeds 
on the assumption that the whole process of Divine Manifesta- 
tion, including nature, is to be viewed in the light of a sublime 
argument in which God is deductively reasoning from princi- 
ples to facts, from generals to particulars. With the great 
synthetic Whole ever present to His mind. He is seen unfold- 
ing the parts of which it consists. In order that man may feel 
the force of this reasoning, his mind, equally with the Divine 
IVIind, must pre-suppose, or be prepared to admit, the primary 
truths on which the reasoning depends. But besides these, 
the Great Argument implies (as in every case of ordinary rea- 
soning) that there are certain ideas or truths in the mind of 
God, which are not yet in the mind of man, and which it is the 
design of the argument to convey. For example — whatever 
exhibits marks of design must have had an intelligent author; 
the world exhibits marks of design, therefore the world must 
have had an intelligent Author. Here, the major is assumed 
alike by God and man ; the conclusion is, at first, in the mind 
of God alone, and the design of the great argument is to con- 
vey it into the mind of man also ; but the attainment of this 


end depends on the truth of the minor — that the world does 
exhibit marks of design ; and how is this proposition to be 
established except by induction? To the infinitely blessed 
God, then, the entire process of Divine Manifestation is, in its 
reference to man, a sublime syllogism, of which the last object 
and the remotest event are already included potentially in the 
major ; the unfolding of which is destined to occupy the coming 
eternity. While man, appointed to find the sphere of his activ- 
ity and improvement in the intermediate space between the 
Necessary and the Contingent, and unable to rest but in the felt 
junction of the two, shall derive perpetual accessions of enjoy- 
ment as he ascends from the Particular to the Infinite with 
whom it has originated, and in whom is it contained. 





The Great Reason; or, why God is, and must be His 
own end from everlasting to everlasting. 

God is not nature ; nor is nature God. Before nature, 
before any part or being of the objective universe existed, 
the God of the Bible had existed from eternity in his own 
self-sufficience. And the absolute perfection which that self- 
sufficience implies, determines that it shall be, in some sense, 
tlT!e chief reason and last end of everything created ; so that 
He will continue to inhabit his self-sufficience through the 
eternity to come. We beHeve, indeed, that, while He su- 
premely regards His ^wn glory. He really regards the well- 
being of the created universe for its own sake ; that this 
well-being is regarded by God a§ an end — in the sense of 
being an object desirable on its own account ; and that He 
delights in it as such ; but that the ultimate, chief, and all- 
comprehending end is His own glory.i 

1. Had there ever been a period when nothing was, 
nothing would still have been. Then the Creator of all 
things is himself uncreated, unoriginated, eternal. " He is 
from everlasting." Far b^ck, in thought, and beyond the 

\ See Note A. 


limits of time, as we may be able occasionally, and for a single 
moment, to go, we are ever accompanied by the humbling 
conviction that we have made no approach whatever to the 
understanding of His eternity. The discoveries of science 
lead back our imagination to a period incalculably remote ; 
but even if each of the countless stars had been formed in 
succession, and if the time which elapsed between the forma- 
tion of each had equalled that entire period, the mind which 
could span the whole — wliich could dart back a thought to 
the moment in which the first star beamed on the regions of 
space, would feel that it had only reached the starting point 
for the preceding eternity. For if then it should ask, " Where 
dwelt the Deity before that?" — the answer of the Oracle is, 
" He inhabited eternity ; " and that star of which it had 
caught a glimpse, could only be regarded as the first lamp 
that was lighted up to guide the way back to His dread 

2. Then must His mysterious existence be necessary and 
independent ; i for as there has never been anything, ab extra, 
to necessitate it, had it not been necessary of and from itself 
only, it could neither have been, nor have continued to be. 
Th^ great parent truth, therefore, which He may be regarded 
as silently repeating, through all the solitudes of space, and 
through every point of duration, is the sublime affii-mation, 
" I AM — underived, self-existent, absolute Being ; in which 
sense there never has been, never will be, never can be, any 
Being besides." All other being can only be derived and 

3. In harmony with the dictates of enlightened reason, the 
Bible authenticates the deduction that the Being whose exist- 
ence is eternal and independent, is also absolutely perfect. The 
power of God must be omnipotence ; His knowledge, omni- 
science ; His holy benevolence, unlimited by anytliing incom- 
patible with perfection. 'No one kind of excellence can be 
unlimited unless it be associated with every other kind of 
excellence ; so that the possession of any one unlimited excel- 
lence implies the existence, and involves the necessity, ot 
absolute perfection. 

4. But if the infinite nature of the Divine Being precludes 
the existence of another independent and unlimited Being, 
the existence of a second would necessarily involve mutual 

^ See Gillespie's Necessary Existence of God. 


limitation ; which would amount to a self-contradiction. In 
every sense, therefore, consistent with perfection, He has ever 
existed alone. Were He to break the silence of eternity, He 
might demand, " Is there a God besides me ? yea, there is 
none ; I know not any.i I, who know all the possibilities of 
being, know not of such a being ; I, who at this moment am 
everywhere present throughout illimitable space, find such a 
being nowhere ; I, who have thus inhabited immensity from 
eternity, have never, in any point of past duration, beheld the 
least manifestation of such a being; I, who am unlimited 
Being, exclude, by that very necessity of my nature, the pos- 
sibility of another unlimited being." 

5. But what finite mind can conceive the conditions in- 
cluded in Absolute Perfection ! To evolve these will require 
eternity ; for could they be evolved in less they would not be 
unlimited. All that we can say, therefore, or shall ever be 
able to say, is, that whatever the amount of mystery included 
in the objective universe may ever be, the probability is, that 
the proportion which it bears to the mystery of the Divine 
nature will be that of the limited to the unlimited ; that if 
infinite perfection implies infinite mysteriousness, which it cer- 
tainly does, then infinite mysteriousness must ever form one 
of the distinctive excellences of that perfection ; that if the 
operation of infinite activity (either of love, of power, or of 
any other excellence) be essential to infinite perfection, and if 
such activity could not be agent and object at the same time, 
and in the same act, and yet no object, ad extra, existed from 
eternity, then must it have existed in the Divine nature itself; 
in other words, the Divine nature must include a plurality of 
distinctions, and include it as one of its necessary conditions, 
or essential perfections ; 2 that if no exercise of the Divine effi- 
ciency, ad extra, can ever be adequate to its infinite perfection, 
and yet such adequate exercise, in some way, must always be 
necessary to infinite perfection, then must it be one of the ex- 
cellences of the Divine nature, not only that it should include 
a plurality of distinctions, but that the adequate sphere of its 
infinite activity should be its own infinite perfections ; that if a 

' Isaiah, xliv. 6, 8. 

2 See Howe's Calm Enquiry concerning the Possibility of a Trinity 
in the Godhead. Professor Kidd on the Trinity. Storr and Flatt, B. ii 
\ 46. § 44. 111. 8. Dr. J. P. Smith's Testimony of the Messiah, (Second 
Edition,) v. i. c. iv. \ 35, v. iii. app. iv. 


God in unity, without internal distinctions, or diversity of 
modes, be incapable of moral affection, because having had 
nothing, ad extra, from eternity to love, then such internal dis- 
tinctions must ever have existed as elements of reciprocal, 
social, self-sufficient perfection ; and that if such plurality be 
an excellence, and if unity be an excellence also ; and if there 
be any respect in which this pluraUty of one kind can consist 
as an excellence with this unity of another, then it will cer- 
tainly be included in absolute perfection. And further, this 
perfection implies not only that all the excellence which it 
includes is simple, uncompounded, one, but that God and it 
are identical : that it is not an adjunct of His being, but His 
being itself. 

6. But for the same reason that His perfection of being and 
character is unlimited, it must ever have been unchangeable 
also. Besides which, it must be of the essence of Absolute 
Perfection that in everything belonging to that perfection, it 
can neither require nor admit of a change. Though an eter- 
nity has passed, the Deity is now what He ever was ; " without 
the shadow of a turning." The past has stayed with Him, 
the future has ever been present to Him : the one could not 
diminish his perfection, nor the other augment it. " Who by 
searching can find out God ! " 

7. Then the Deity has existed from eternity as His own 
end. By supposition, nothing as yet has been brought into ex- 
istence. No ground therefore exists, no occasion has yet been 
given, for raising the great question as to who or what can be 
that end. No creative fiat has yet gone forth. Time has not 
counted its first revolution. In imagination, we are standing 
in the solitudes of the past eternity. Never has this stillness 
been broken. No ray of created light has ever penetrated 
this darkness. This infinite space has never owned a world. 
No seraph bows before His- throne. If these solitudes shall 
ever be peopled with finite beings, the purpose is shut up in 
the mind of God. Boundless as His capacity for happiness 
must always have been, the consciousness of His own excel- 
lence, and the contemplation of His own perfections, have ever 
been sufficient to fill it. Unlimited and unceasing as must 
have been His activity. His own nature has l)een sufficient to 
exercise and contain the whole. Dateless in His duration, 
tlie postponement of creation for ten thousand thousand ages 
would not increase that duration, nor would it have been 
diminished had the fiat gone forth ten thousand thousand ages 


before it did. Unshared by anything, ab extra, as His eter- 
nity, and lonely, in the same sense, as His immensity must 
ever have been, His self-communion has been sufficient to 
occupy and replenish the whole with happiness. And incon- 
ceivably great as the end answered by this infinity and 
immensity of perfection must have been. His own enjoyment 
and glory are amply commensurate to the whole. 

8. But if he has always been His own end, it follows that 
He must ever continue to be the same. For on the supposi- 
tion of any other object becoming that end, then all that had 
gone before during the past eternity could only be regarded as 
its own end in a subordinate sense ; while in reference to this 
other end since developed, it has been only the means. " That 
which exists merely as a cause, exists merely for the sake of 
something else — is not final in itself, but simply a means to- 
wards an end ; and in the accomplishment of that end, it con- 
summates its own perfection." From which it would follov/, 
that, during a whole eternity. Infinite Self-sufficience stood in 
the subordinate relation of means to beings not yet in exist- 
ence ; that during that eternity Infinite Perfection was imper- 
fect as the means without the end ; and that the addition of 
imperfect and dependent being was necessary to give perfec- 
tion to that imperfection. 

9. K to be His own end be an antecedent right, antecedent 
to creation by an eternity ; and if, after enjoying that right for 
an eternity. He choose to exercise another right — the right 
of creation — the exercise of tliis subsequent and inferior 
right cannot affect the primary eternal right. The display of 
Divine perfection can never impair the original prerogatives 
of that perfection. That He should lose his right, because 
of his perfection, is revolting to reason. Render his prerogji- 
tives more evident it may, but destroy them it cannot. For 
glorious as that display may be, and after it has been augment- 
ing ten thousand ages, His absolute perfection will remain the 
same as it was before that display began. That manifestation 
will not have increased it ; for it will be only the objective ex- 
istence of that which was His subjectively from eternity. 
Lofty as may be the natures, and countless as may be the 
myriads which will encircle His throne, He must ever continue 
to dwell as perfectly alone, in a sense, through the eternity to 
come, as He did through the sublime and appalling solitude of 
the eternity past. On account of His incomparable greatness 
and excellence, never will He be able to bring himself within 



their comprehension. However exalted their natures and 
attainments may be, the universe will still exhibit the infinite 
distinction of the One unlimited being, and of orders of limited 
beings entirely dependent on Him. Retired within the depths 
of his own immensity, they will never be able to approach 
and behold Him directly. For all they know of Him, they 
will ever feel that they are indebted to a medium of His own 
devising ; and that, without that medium, the whole created 
universe including themselves, would only have constituted a 
living altar with this inscription, " To the unknown God." 

10. Whatever excellence, natural or moral, the created uni- 
verse may ever contain, was contained previously in the 
Divine Nature. Surely His impartation of it cannot give 
away his right in it ! Rather, He will be laying the recipients 
under an obligation to love Him as its Giver, and to adore 
Him as its Source. However vast the amount of excellence 
may be, it will still be limited, so that they will have to 
remember at any given moment of their unending befeg, that 
they are still infinitely short of His excellence. However 
vast and various the displays of His glory may be, they will 
ever have to remember that the universe wliich displays it 
leaves more unevolve-d and undisplayed, by an infinite 
amount. However much they may be able to comprehend of 
what He is, from what He has done since they came into be- 
ing, they will ever have to remember that all the eternity of 
His past glory remains unexplored. And unless they could 
exhaust the mystery of the Divine perfections during every 
moment since they came into being, they will ever have to 
remember that the mystery is every moment augmenting in 
their hands ; that time is adding its mystery to the mystery 
of the past eternity ; and that the mystery of both is to be 
carried forwards to the still greater account of the eternity to 
come. However various the orders of their intellect may be, 
here they will all find themselves on a level ; here they will all 
and ever find that to reflect is to be lost ; that the very choicest 
terras which they may employ to denote their knowledge 
of God, will be only so many tacit confessions of their igno- 
rance, and escapes from difficulty ; since to speak of Him as 
eternal, is only to say that His duration had not, like theirs, a 
beginning ; and to speak of Him as infinite, that His nature is 
not, like theirs, bounded by limits. 

11. Nor will they ever cease to be entirely dependent on 
riim. Suppose their creation had yet to connnence, and we 


may ask, How can they be ever otherwise than dependent ? 
During the eternity past, that question has never by possibihty 
been raised ; for He has existed, and, as to anything ad extra, 
still remains alone. By what possibility, then, can it ever be 
raised in the eternity to come ? The fact that God has been 
His own end in all the past determines the question for all the 
future. Whence could ever come the principle or the power 
which should invade, even in thought, this Divine prerogative, 
unquestioned and undisturbed as it has been from eternity ? 
Surely not from any being of whom it is true that he has yet 
to be ; and as to whom the question whether he shall ever be 
or not, depends entirely on the Divine pleasure; and who, 
even if it be the Divine pleasure that he shall be, will be as 
entirely dependent on the same pleasure for every successive 
moment of being, as he was for the first moment ! The idea 
of such a being, or of any number of such beings, entering 
into, and taking possession of the place which for an eternity 
had been occupied by God, as constituting his own end, is 
revolting to reason. The necessity of their own nature will 
forbid it. The only relation Avhich that necessity will sustain 
to Him is that of dependence more profound, universal, and 
absolute, than they will ever be able to comprehend ; while 
the relation of His own nature to that end will always be, 
what it ever has been — that of self-sufiicience. 

12. And as His infinite self-sufficience necessitated that He 
should be His own end during the eternity past, the uiKihange- 
ableness of His nature secures the same result during the 
eternity to come. What He was. He is, and what He was 
and is, He ever will be. However many worlds or systems 
He may create, they will never do more than display the na- 
ture of His perfection, they can never be the measure of its 
amount, much less limit that amount. Now, were He to make 
only a solitary being, that being could never think that Go<l 
existed, and had existed from all eternity, for him — and why .? 
because he would ever feel that God is infinitely above him. 
But no multiplication of mere finite beings will ever make an 
infinite being ; and consequently can never affect the right of 
God to be the end of all things. On the contrary, the greater 
their multiplication, the more evident his claim, because they 
would feel the more vividly that the difference between them, 
the limited, and Him, the unlimited, is still infinite ; and that 
after they shall have continued to advance through intermina- 
ble a"-es from throne to throne, and shall have come nearer to 


Him at every such advance, the distance between Him and 
them is still infinite — that God is all in all. 

And thus we reach the conclusion, from the eternal self- 
sufficiency of God, that He must ever be His own End ; or 
that His nature and glory form the Great Reason of the uni- 
verse. For there was no reason ivhy it should be, nor what it 
should be, but what existed in Himself. 


The Ultijiate Purpose ; or, the manifestation of the Di- 
vine all-sufficiency the last end of creation. 

The preceding Chapter showed that for the great reason of 
His eternal self-sufficience, God will ever be, what He always 
has been, His own end. But if He be thus absolutely self- 
sufficient and infinitely perfect, it follows that He is all-suffi- 
cient. By which we mean, generally, that, from eternity. He 
has included in himself all that is or ever will be necessary to 
impart (consistently with infinite perfection) existence and 
ever-advancing excellence, and happiness, to a created uni- 
verse. And the object of the present Chapter is to show that 
the manifestation of this glory, by which we mean all-suffi- 
ciency, is the great purpose or ultimate end of creation. 

I. Such a manifestation appears to involve the following 
conditions : — 

1. That the manifestation be progressive. For surely a 
system wliich is always in progress both in its own develop- 
ment, and in the powers of the beings to whom it is made 
known and who form a part of it, must, by the endless com- 
binations which it involves, furnish an inconceivably severer 
test of Divine all-sufficiency, than one which should be in 
every respect stationary from the beginning. 
_ And this anticipates and answers the plausible but incon- 
siderate inquiry, " If the manifestation of the Divine all-suffi- 
ciency be infinitely desirable, would it not be er^ually desirable 


that the greatest possible extent should be given to the crea- 
tion, and be given at once ; since, until that be done, how 
can it be known that God is all-sufficient ? " In other words, 
an infinite cause should produce an infinite effect. 

We reply, that an exercise of the Divine perfections prop- 
erly "infinite can only take place in the Divine nature itself; 
and possibly involves the mystery of a plurality of distinctions 
in the unity of the Godhead, to and by which that display is 
mutually made : that were such an infinite manifestation to be 
nmde, ad extra, unless the mind of the creature were adequate 
to its comprehension — i. e. were infinite — the manifestation 
to the creature would be limited, limited to the measure of 
his understanding : and that hence, for aught we know, the 
manifestation of God made in an atom, while to us it is 
extremely limited, to Him who sees the end from the begin- 
ning may be virtually and potentially infinite. So that, (if the 
hypothesis may be allowed,) were it possible to present such a 
particle to Him from the hand of another maker, He could 
say, " The being from whom this came is infinite, eternal, self- 
existent, and absolutely perfect. His titles are here all writ- 
ten out at full length, and his perfections embodied. He is 
all-sufficient. This atom-point is the type and promise of an 
ever-enlarging and unbounded universe. It contains poten- 
tially all that the material universe will ever exhibit actually. 
No additions to this atom-world could ever add to my knowl- 
edge of him. To me the manifestation is complete." We 
reply further ; the inquirer is evidently thinking of an all-suffi- 
ciency of power only, whereas we are speaking of an all- 
sufficiency of perfection, including wisdom, holiness, and 
benevolence, as well as power. As to the production of an 
unlimited effect, ad extra, the supposition of such a thing, as 
far as it can be understood, is an impossibility. For, first, it 
would involve the contradiction of two infinities — the infinite 
cause and the infinite effect; in which case, the one must 
limit the other, so that neither would be unlimited ; or, second- 
ly, it would imply the contradiction of an unlimited something 
brought within limits, the hmits of time ; and, thirdly, it would 
involve the absurdity of an independent dependence — of an 
effect not dependent on any cause — for if dependent, in that 
respect, the most vital of all, it would be limited. 

2. But to say what would be necessary to the full manifes- 
tation of all-sufficiency, is a task to which none but all-suffi- 
ciency itself can be competent ; since it supposes a manifestation 


continued through eternity. Here, then, is another condition 
of the manifestation, that it be unending. For if it should 
terminate at any given point in futurity, the proof of all-suffi- 
ciency for an eternal manifestation would terminate with it ; 
and then the suspicion might be justly awakened, that if the 
manifestation had gone on, a crisis might have arrived for 
which the Deity might not have been sufficient. Besides 
which, all-sufficiency, from its very nature, requires infinity 
and eternity in which to be developed, for it implies sufficiency 
for nothing less than that. And it requires the same, from 
the very nature and constitution of those to whom the mani- 
festation is to be made; for they are capable of interminable 
progression. To the objector then who should call for an un- 
limited effect in proof of Divine all-sufficiency, we would simply 
reply, that when he shall have existed for an unlimited dura- 
tion, he may consistently expect to behold it. 

Considering the constitution of the beings to whom the 
manifestation is to be made, in connection with the infinite per- 
fection of the Bemg who is to make it, such a manifestation, 
then, would seem to require that it should be progressive and 
unending ; in order that they might be able to go along step 
by step with the great development ; to hang over tlie mighty 
process, and mark how the attainment of one end attains a 
number of inferior ones placed in a line with it ; how part is 
linked to part ; how the evolution of one part tends to the 
evolution of another part, contains the promise of it, leads to 
It, and predicts another and another yet ; so that all-sutRciency 
is perpetually making fresh demands on itself, and illustrating 
Itself by perpetually meeting those demands in a way demon- 
strative of all-sufficiency, constraining them to acknowledge 
that it has no limits. 

The remark, then, that the manifestation, not being object- 
ively completed at once, cannot be regarded as worthy of God, 
admits of the most satisfactory reply ; for, to aUege no other 
reason, it is a manifestation for a purpose — ^o he understood; 
and Its gradual development is that wliich especially adapts it 
to this end. The objection would hold only on the supposition 
tliat the manifestation was not made rapidly enough for the 
rapid mental and moral progress of the beings for whom it 
was made — did not keep pace with their advancing powers 
of comprehension and appreciation. For if it does meet those 
demands, to them, in efiect, it will be always unHmited and 
virtually inlimte. Had such a thing been possible, then, that 


it could have been completed at once, man would not have 
known more of it ten tjiousand ages hence, than he will at the 
same distant point of time, now that it is progressive. While, 
at every stage of his knowledge, to him, in effect, the display 
will have been infinite and complete ; for the limits of his 
comprehension will be always unspeakably within the limits 
of the manifestation at its every stage. We have said that, in 
the case supposed, he would not have known more ten thou- 
sand ages hence than he will now by a progressive manifesta- 
tion. But we advance further, and remark, that one of the 
reasons of this progressiveness is that, in the case supposed, 
he would not have known so much. Nor, as we shall hereaf- 
ter show, would his knowledge have equally availed him, for 
it would not have been the knowledge of observation and ex- 
perience. Experience supposes a process, and a process 
requires time, and implies advance from one stage to another. 
3. And a third condition of this manifestation appears to be 
that it be all-comprehending — including the revelation of every- 
thing essential to the Divine nature, and provision for every 
crisis in the onward history of the creature, as well as the 
union and cooperation of all orders of being to the one great 
end. If there be distinctions as well as perfections in the 
Godhead, and if it would be for the glory of God to reveal 
them, sooner or later they must be disclosed ; otherwise the 
manifestation would not be sufficient in this infinitely impor- 
tant particular. Again, if this all-sufficiency implies the 
power of meeting every crisis ; and should the creature ever 
come by some dreadful possibility to question the Divine all- 
sufficiency — which would be sin — the Deity, by the very 
fact of being able to meet that moral crisis, would be demon- 
strating the all-sufficiency called in question. And still further 
would this Divine perfection appear to be illustrated, if, in an- 
swering one end, it accomplished many, in sketching before- 
hand the great outlines of the Divine procedure ; and should 
there be different orders of accountable beings, in including 
and uniting them together as voluntary and organic parts of 
the one great system. 

n. Here, however, it may be asked, whether this does not 
imply that, until this all-sufficiency be made manifest, there 
must be something wanting to the Divine glory which that 
manifestation is necessary to acquire for it ; and that as that 
all-sufficiency was not displayed for an eternity, therefore 


something was eternally wanting to the completion of that 
glory? We reply, that the display of'tliis all-sufficiency is no 
actual augmentation of God's essential glory, but only the 
objective manifestation of excellence which existed and acted 
subjectively from eternity ; and that the fact that He should 
have existed from eternity without manifesting it to the 
creature, arises solely from the infinite perfection of His own 
nature which is uncommencing, and from the unavoidable im- 
perfection of created natures which necessarily imply a begin- 
ning. His all-sufficience was necessary to the idea of his 
self-sufficience, and was included in it. The objection, then, 
can acquire force only by erroneously supposing that, having 
purposed to manifest His all-sufficiency, there was yet (as is 
often the case with human purposes) a doubt as to whether or 
not it would be carried into effect : but let it be remembered 
that we are speaking of all-sufficiency, and the objection turns 
into absurdity. Further, if the objection have any force with 
respect to the eternity past, it has the same still, and will have 
the same through all the eternity to come ; since the manifes- 
tation of all-sufficiency can never, from the very nature of 
all-sufficiency, come to an end — and herein consists its perfec- 
tion. Moreover, there is not a particle of being or of excel- 
lence in existence now more than existed potentially from 
eternity, since the whole objective universe is the manifestation 
of the Divine being and excellence. Great and real as is 
the satisfaction of the Deity in the existence and happiness 
of his creatures, the perfection of His nature forbids that it 
should ever have had to begin. There can never have been 
a point in past duration in which His purpose has not made 
such existence and happiness certain, or in which His om- 
niscience has not made it present to His mind as an object 
of ineffable delight. Besides which, however much of the 
Divine excellence be made objective, such manifestation must 
always fall short of the reality to an infinite amount. And, 
then, the infinite desirableness, of such a manifestation includes 
and supposes the infinite desirableness of all the conditions of 
the manifestation ; so that any alteration would be not only 
infinitely undesirable, but would be so for this very reason, 
that it would not be a manifestation of Divine all-sufficienee. 

in. From the preceding section, and from what has been 
advanced in the preceding cliapter, it is evident that if a crea- 
tion take place, it can be only by the voluntary act of the 


(jfodliead. To say tliat God creates })y a natural and unavoid- 
able necessity, is to deny His self-sufficience, and to make Him 
dependent for perfection on an external object ; whereas we 
have seen that He has existed from eternity in a state of in- 
finite perfection. 

Hypotheses of fate and necessity have not been wanting, 
indeed, from the time of Anaximander downwards. Accord- 
ing to him, the infinite is necessarily an ever-producing energy, 
and, as such, is in a constant state of incipiency. The neces- 
sary spiritualism of Leibnitz, and the necessary materialism 
of Spinoza, are alike hostile to the Divine free-will. Hegel 
and M. Cousin, have defended substantially the same tenet. 
According to the latter, " the distinguishing characteristic of 
the Deity being an absolute creative force, which cannot but 
pass into activity, it follows, not that the creation is possible, 
but that it is necessary." Now as the necessity here contended 
for, is not that moral necessity or determination which arises 
from the choice of an infinitely perfect Being, but a physical 
or natural necessity, it has been ably answered that " to what 
extent a thing exists necessarily as a cause, to that extent it 
is not all-sufficient to itself; for to that extent it is dependent 
on the effect, as on the condition through which alone it real- 
izes its existence ; and what exists absolutely as a cause, 
exists, therefore, in absolute dependence on the effect for the 
reality of its existence. An absolute cause, in truth, only 
exists in its effects ; it never is, it always becomes" ^ 

The God of the Bible, on the contrary, is subject neither to 
the necessity of acting, ad extra, nor to the necessity of not 
acting. The universe has been created for his " pleasure ; " 
not from a necessity which He could not physically resist. 
And whatever takes place in it of a beneficial nature, takes 
place " according to the jnirpose of Him who worketh all things 
according to the counsel of His own will." The only neces- 
sity, therefore, which can be regarded as obliging Him in 
respect to a creation, is the moral necessity, that having 
freely determined to create, He should propose an adequate 
end, and employ the appropriate means for its attainment. 

IV. Accordingly, if the Deity create, it seems infinitely 
desirable that the chief and ultimate design of the creation 

^ From a searching and masterly review .of Cousin's Cours de Phi' 
losophie, in the Ediu. liev., vol. 1. p. 213. 


should be the manifestation of the Divine all-sufficiency — hy 
which the Divine glory should appear equal to all thing-s, even 
for the greatest — that of being its own end. 

1. For, first, in the very nature of things, all thd being, ex- 
cellence, and happiness, which can ever exist, ad extra, and by 
which alone the Divine manifestation can be made, virtually 
existed from eternity, ad intra.^ It is only in this way that 
they can manifest Him ; and it is only so long, therefore, as 
they remain what they are — the means of the manifestation 
of Himself — that they answer their end ; and the more of 
them there is in the creature, the more do they answer that 
end. All the relations which may ever bind created beings 
together ; the laws which may prescribe the duties of these 
relations ; the excellence whicli, by obedience to these laws, 
they may ever possess or be able to acquire ; and the happi- 
ness which, as the result of this excellence, they may ever 
enjoy — all potentially existed from eternity in the character 
and mind of God, and existed there as the expression of His 
mind and character. His nature is the fountain of the whole. 
So that every authoritative tmnouncement which He may 
make that such and such is His will, must be founded in the 
fact that such and such is His nature. From the all-compre- 
hending perfection of the Divine nature, then, the manifesta- 
tion of Divine all-sufficiency must have been the chief and 
ultimate design of creation. 

2. But, secondly, as God does nothing which He does not 
purpose, and as the manifestation of a cause is necessarily the 
first end answered by an eiiect, so the purpose of making this 
manifestation must have been, in its own right, the first pur- 
pose in the mind of God. To speak, indeed, as if the purposes 
of God observed an order of succession in the Divine mind, is 
a metaphysical inconsistency ; but it is one which arises from 
that necessary constitution of our nature by which we can 
conceive of but one subject at a time ; and by wliich we con- 
ceive that that wliich is the first in the order of importance 
should be, with a perfect Being, the first in the order of in- 
tention. On this account we conclude that the Divine purpose 
relative to the design or end of creation must have been the 
first in the mind of God, since every other purpose could only 

^ Admirable remarks on this subject may be found in Howe's Living 
' 'mple, part i. c. iv., and part ii. c. ii. ; and in Hooker's Eccles. Po'., 
b. 5. • 


relate to tlie means for the accomplishment of that end. 
What we call the various purposes of God, indeed, are, 
properly speaking, only parts of the same all-comprehending 
purpose ; so that what we denominate His first purpose, in- 
cluded the reason of all His other purposes, and determined 
the order of their successive development. 

When we say, therefore, that every other purpose could 
only relate to the means, we do not intend that God had only 
one end in view absolutely, or in every sense. ^ It seems to 
be necessary, in order to satisfy our idea of all-sufficiency, 
that, in accomplishing one end, it should be answering many. 
For instance, that the very creation of the beings to whom the 
manifestation should be made, should involve in itself a grand 
part of the manifestation ; that even the globe prepared to 
receive them, and to be the theatre of the majiifestation, 
should contain in itself some of the elements of that manifes- 
tation ; that the well-being of the creature should furnish the 
chief occasion for displaying that all-sufhciency ; and that the 
very questioning of that all-sufiiciency, and the first obstruc- 
tion offered to it, should bring with it the very occasion wanted 
to evolve and demonstrate that all-sufficiency, and to augment 
the happiness of the creature : so that the well-being of the 
creature should be as secure of attainment as if it were the 
chief and only end aimed at, since it is coincident with that 
end ; — all these are designs worthy of Divine all-sufficiency. 
Although, then, in relation to the chief end, every other end is 
subordinate and a means, viewed apart from that chief end, 
many of the means themselves become important ends ; and 
it seems, we repeat, worthy of Divine all-sufficiency that in 
answering its own great end, it should be accomplishing many 
subordinate ones. 

3. And, thirdly, the well-being of the creature required that 
the manifestation of the Divine all-sufficiency should be the 
ultimate design of God in creation. JNext in importance to this 
design, is that well-being itself. And hence, some would incon- 
siderately regard that as the ultimate end of creation. But if, 
as we have seen, the manifestation of the Divine all-sufficiency 
must be, in its own right, the chief end of creation, the very 
Avell-being of the creature required that no other end, not even 
his own well-being, should be that end. For if the creatur(j 

' Sec President Edwards's Treatise on God's chief End in Creation. — 
IntroducLorij Paragraphs. 


be himself a part of that manifestation, he is, in so far, a 
means to that end His excellence consists in that resem- 
blance to God by which he is constituted a part of that mani- 
festation ; and if he be an intelligent being, his happiness 
consists in his perceiving that resemblance, and in being con- 
scious that he is answering that end of his existence. The 
character of his every act depends on its correspondence with 
that end. The value of every being is to be estimated by its 
capabilities for answering that end. And the truth of every 
system or theory, is to be tested by the fact whether or not it 
contemplates that end, and attaches to it the same importance 
which God does. For if that end be infinitely greater than 
all the subordinate ones taken together ; then that theory of 
things which takes no note of that end, or which assigns it 
only an inferior place, must be faulty to a much greater de- 
gree than any arithmetical calculation which professes to 
give the sum total of a number of figures, but which casts up 
only the fractions and omits the integers. 

A holy intelligence, therefore, could not be happy under an 
arrangement which should make his own happiness the chief 
end of creation, unless he were quite ignorant of the infinite 
perfection of God. But however happy he might be in 
that ignorance, it would be only necessary to disclose to him 
a sight of that perfection in order to render him unhappy ; 
for he would clearly see that he could be his own end only at 
the expense of right, and that would render him, as a righte- 
ous being, miserable. His own happiness, then, would re- 
quire that he should be subordinated to the higher end — the 
manifestation of the Divine glory ; for he would see that his 
well-being consisted in it — that he was made for it. So that 
could the great question be referred to the arbitration of the 
holy universe, with one voice they would instantly exclaim, 
" Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and 
power ; for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure 
they are and were created. For of Him, and through Him, 
and to Him are all things ; to Him be glory for ever. Amen." 
Thus the verdict of the intelligent universe coincides with the 
primary purpose of the Infinite Mind — that the manifesta- 
tion of the Divine all-sufficiency ts the ultimate end of cre- 
ation. The work is dedicated to Himself : ^^AU His works 
praise Him." 

And thus, from llie Eternal Self-suificience, we reach the 
grand conclusion that God must be His own end, or thai His 


infinitely-perfect nature is the great reason of the universe ; 
and from a consideration of His all-sufficiency, that His glory, 
in creation, consists in the manifestation of His all-sufficiency, 
and that His display of this is His primary and all-compre- 
hendinof design. 


The Fundamental Relation ; or, the manifestation of the 
Divine all-sufliciency, mediatorial. 

God having determined on the display of His all-sufficiency 
as the end of creation, the next part of His purpose related to 
the constitution of a medium, or system of mediation, as the 
only condition on which and through which the manifestation 
was to be made. 

Let it be observed, that we do not here restrict the meaning 
of the term mediation to the principal or evangelical sense. 
We now employ the term as equivalent to medial, or that 
which intervenes between the purpose of God and its accom- 
plishment, as the means of that accomplishment. While v/e 
regard the Atonement, therefore, as the great distinctive act 
of moral mediation, and as that to which all preceding acts 
of creation and providence were only introductory, we now 
employ the term in reference to these preparatory acts as well 
as to that great act of moral mediation. 

I. And we find, first, that the constitution of the universe 
is mediatorial. The creation is represented in Scripture as 
owing its actual existence and well-being from first to last, not 
to the invisible and absolute God directly, but indirectly, on 
account of the assumed relation and voluntary agency of one 
who stands medially or mediatorially between Him and the 
dependent universe. " He created all things by Jesus Christ 
according to the eternal purpose which He pur- 
posed in Christ Jesus our Lord." " By Him (the Mediator) 
were all things created that are in heaven and that are in 
earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or do- 


minions, or principalities or powers ; all things were created 
by Him and for Him ; and He is before all things, and by 
Him all things consist." 

II. Accordingly, we find, in the second place, that the insti- 
tution of the medial, or mediatorial relation, preceded the first 
act of creation, and was the medium of it. . For, " in the be- 
ginning was the Word, (or Logos,) and the Logos was with 
God, and the Logos Avas God. This (Logos) was in the be- 
ginning with God. All things were made by Ilim, and with- 
out Him was not anything made that has been made." In 
verification of our second proposition we remark that it is here 

1. That the Logos is. in some sense distinct from o Oi-bg,for 
He was with 6 Geog. Besides which, His personal subsist- 
ence is manifest from the attributes of intelligence and active 
power which are here ascribed to Him. 

2. That He sustained a relation of peculiar intimacy and 
union with 6 Osog, for He was TiQog top Otov ; nQog^ equiva- 
lent here to naqa, governing the dative, and denoting rest in a 
place or an object. But we are by no means dependent on a 
single proof. Passages to the same effect are so numerous as 
to require selection. Such, for instance, is the language — 
" the glory which I had, Tiuoa aol, with Thee, before the v/orld 
was." And the compound term }JoroyEVi)g — the only-hegotten 
Son — which occurs lour times ; and " the only-begotten Son 
who is in the bosom of the Father ; " denoting a relation abso- 
lutely unique and exclusive, and a state of the most perfect 
conjunction of knowledge, happiness, and nature. i 

3. That He was Himself God, for (->£o.v ijv 6 loyog. The 
connection of this clear affirmation with the preceding clause 
may be expressed thus — "The Word was with God, in 
such a manner, that, in fact, the Word was God." Other 
proofs to the same effect might be easily adduced. 

4. That of everything brought into existence. He, in dis- 
tinction from (:)tog, was the actual Maker. "All things 
were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made 
that was made." The allh-mation is here followed by the ne- 
gation, after the Hebrew manner, in order the more emphati- 

* Autlioritics corroljorative of these views might be cited to almost 
any extent ; and some of them by no means unfriendly to Neologist doc- 


cally to declare that every created thing originated with 
Him ; and, to create, is the scriptural demonstration of 

5. And therefore that the relation or office in virtue of 
which He created all things preceded the tirst act of crea- 
tion. For Iv (iQxfi — ^'^ f^i^ beginning — equivalent to the 
Hebrew n'^ii'S'ia — even then He already riv — was. The as- 
sertion of His pre-existence is included alike in uQiri and in 
//y. For when every created thing had yet to be, He already 
tvas. He comprehends every beginning in Himself.' As 
passages, parallel, in this particular, we might refer to Prov. 
viii. 23, where to be " from the beginning " is made equivalent 
with being " from everlasting, or ever the earth was," and to 
Isaiah xliii. 12, 13, and Hab. i. 12, where to be Jro?/^ the begin- 
ning is regarded as the peculiar prerogative of the eternal and 
self-existent God. And yet, this ante-beginning, or unbegin- 
ning existence is here predicated of the Logos, not once only ; 
in the second verse it is repeated — " this (Word) was in the 
beginning with God." As if He had said, " This is a truth 
of the lirst importance, and I therefore repeat it, that when 
creation had yet to begin to be, the Divine Logos existed in a 
state of perfect union with the Divine Nature."^ For, " He is 
before all things, and by Him all things consist." Thus In- 
spiration, leading us back to the beginning of all created 
things, points us to the existence of that medial relation which 
preceded creation, and was the means of its actual origin. 

III. And, thirdly, as the primary purpose of God is the 
manifestation of Divine all-sufficiency, this primary official re- 
lation is represented as in coincidence with, and subservience 
to, that purpose. This is indicated by the very meaning of 
the appellation Logos, whether examined philologically, histori- 
cally, or exegetically. 

1. It might be asked, "May not o Xoyog stand philologicallT/, 
as abstract for concrete, for 6 Ib'yoov — the speaker or teach- 
er ? " To which we reply that )Jy£(v does not signify directly 
to teach ; and Xoyog has only in an indirect manner the mean- 
ing of doctrine. Much more proper would it be to understand 

^ Qui in pvincipio erat, intra se concludit omne principium. — Aug. 
Serm. vi. — De Temp. 

^ Dr. J. P. Smith's Scripture Testimony to the Messiah, v. iii. c ii. 
b. iv. 


Xoyoi^ according to the phraseology of Philo, who distmguisnes 
in God the state oi ehat — bemg, and that of liyEod'ai — re- 
vealing Himself. According to which the Logos would be 
the Divine Revealer.i 

2. But that which is much more important to determine, 
here, than its grammatical, is its historical sense. For the 
Evangelist speaks of the Logos as of a conception already 
knowq, and which he takes for granted his readers will imme- 
diately connect with the word.^ Now, it is matter of history 
that by the Logos was then understood, He who is the medium 
of Divine manifestation. The idea of such a medium appears 
to have early obtained among the students of the Hebrew 
Scriptures ; and from them to have extended to other lands, 
till in one forn»or another, the idea had become very generally 
incorporated with Oriental theology. Traces of it are to be 
found scattered, with more or less distinctness, in the Apoc- 
rypha, in Philo, in the Cabalistic Writings, and in the Chal- 
dee Paraphrasts. Li the last of these especially it is taught 
that God never appears acting immediately upon the world, 
but always through the m'^dium of another. * This medium of 
the Divine acts is called the Memra of Jali — - the Word of 
Jehovah. And although the phrase is sometimes employed 
idiomatically, to signify merely the Divine Voice, at others, it 
can denote nothing less than a distinct personal subsistence. 
While in Philo the doctrme is taught that the Deity has de- 
veloped His essence through His highest Reveaier, the Lo- 
gos, who is the express image of God — the name and the 
shadow of God — a representative God. 

The Evangelist, aware of this famihar doctrine of Jewish 
theology, declai-es that the true Logos — He who in the ca- 
pacity of Logos had made the world as a part of the Divine 
manifestation, has really and historically appeared with a view 
to a yet further manifestation. 

3. To have selected so unusual a word as Logos in order 
to express so simple an idea as that of a teacher only, would 
have been, exegetically considered, most inappropriate. Besides, 
the idea conveyed is, that the Being intended had, in His ca- 
pacity of Logos, or, of the Divine Reveaier, created the uni- 
verse; and that He who had done this had now Himself 

' See Professor Tholuck, in loc. 

^ See Professor Burton's Bampton Lecture. 


appeared to carry on the process of Divine manifestation. 
Thus understood — and we know no other sense in which we 
can understand it — how admirably descriptive is the appella- 
tion, the Logos, of Him who is the medium of the Divine 
manifestation. AVhat speech is as a means of rational com- 
munication between one mind and another, that is the Divine 
Logos between the Invisible Essence and all created minds. 
He is the utterer of His thoughts, the discloser of His pur- 
poses, the manifestation of His character. 

Now the Being who sustains this relation must in every 
respect be co-equal with God. To be in any sense inferior 
would be to be infinitely inferior ; in which case, the manifes- 
tation itself would be limited to the capacity of the medium 
through which it came, and consequently, be infi^iitely inferior 
to the Divine original. Accordingly, we have seen, that the 
Divine Logos is, in perfections, as in name, co-equal with the 
Father ; he has been with Him, and has so been with Him as 
to be one with Him, from eternity. To the same effect are 
those passages of Holy Scripture which describe Him as the 
Image of the Invisible God ; as the Brightness of the Father's 
Glory, and the Exj)ress Representation of His Essence. For 
as the internal being and character of a man are expressed in 
his face, so God hath given us the knowledge of His glory in 
the face of Jesus Christ. The doctrine which gives to these 
and parallel phrases all their force is, that He to whom they 
relate is the great medium of Divine manifestation. 

And this prepares us to expect that the manifestation will 
not be verbal merely. For how can the imperfect medium 
of speech convey an adequate idea of the invisiUe God? 
Besides, the intelligent creatures to whom the manif^tation is 
to be made, had first to be created, and the world they should 
inhabit to be called into existence ; and, as He performed 
these works in his medial capacity, it might be expected that 
He would begin the manifestation even in these. This is 
the right key to the volume of the universe. Properly un- 
derstood, every material particle is impressed with His seal. 
Every atom is a letter, and every work a word. Every 
element lectures on his attributes, and each _globe is a mes- 
senger ever moving in His service. Man himself was made' 
in His image. The stars come forth nightly on their solemn 
embassy to " proclaim the glory of God." And the earth 
daily alhrms with voices innumerable the "eternal power 
and Godhead." In harmony with this representation, the 


Divine Logos is represented as having come into the world, 
not so much to promote the Divine manifestation by verbal 
instruction, as by embodying and manifesting Himself in ac- 
tions. He came to be the manifestation of God. " He that 
hath seen Me," said He, " hath seen the Father also." He 
claimed for Himself the exclusive power of revealing the father ; 
and affirmed that to make this revelation was the great end of 
His own coming. And, when about to depart from the world, 
He was heai-d to say to the Father, " Having declared unto them 
Thy name, and having thus glorified Thee on the earth, I have 
finished the work which Thou gavest to me to do." While His 
disciples subsequently declared, that the Life had been mani- 
fested, and that they had seen it ; that that which was from 
the beginning they had handled and seen, even the Word of 
Life ; that though no man had seen God at any time, the only- 
begotten Sou had come from the bosom of the Father to de- 
clare Him, and that they had beheld His glory. 

And thus, be it observed, the very means of external mani- 
festation became itself the manifestation of a mysterious plu- 
rality of subsistencies in the Godhead. Li the very first step 
taken to give the universe an economy ad extra, a mysterious 
economy ad intra was disclosed ; and- which became the ground 
and means of every subsequent disclosure. 

Here, then, are the basis and the medium of the Divine Man- 
ifestation ; for, in relation to God, as we shall presently evince 
more clearly, it is constituted the ground on which such mani- 
festation is made ; and is itself, perhaps, to His eye, the mani- 
festation already and ever perfect. While, in respect to 
the subs^uent creation, it is the means by which the process 
will be ^er conducted. Thus, while the reason of this Re- 
lation is laid, proximately, at least, in the Divine Purpose, and 
the reason of the Divine Purpose lies in the Divine Nature, the 
reason of everythmg else will be found to be laid in this Re- 



The PrTmart Obligation ; or, Duty arising from the Me- 
diatorial Relation. 

If tlie manifestation of the Divine all-sufficiency be the 
object for which the mediatorial relation exists, and if the 
Being sustaining the relation be infinitely perfect, or equal to 
the relation, it follows that by voluntarily assuming it. He 
comes under obligation to do everything which may be ne- 
cessary for the full attainment of the object pro230sed. 

I. For what is obligation but the necessary link which, in a 
moral sequence, connects the antecedent with its consequent ; 
or, the indispensable necessity of employing the means 
proper to attain a requisite end ? Now every relation brings 
with it certain appropriate obligations ; and these obligations 
vary in character and amount according to the character of the 
relations. A relation may be voluntary, or involuntary, and nat- 
ural. If it be voluntary, he who assumes it is bound to fulfil the 
obligations which it imposes ; always providing that he either 
knew, or had the means of knowing, the nature of the rela- 
tion ; and that he is not physically unable to discharge its du- 

ll. Now He who sustains the mediatorial relation, not only 
possesses, as we have seen, all the requisites for accomplishing 
the great purpose, but His fitness is the special reason why He 
sustains that relation ; the relation therefore hinds or obliges Him 
to do everything necessary to the attainment of the end for which 
it exists. Thai end nlay be immeasurably distant, but let the 
first creative fiat be once issued, and never can His eye be with- 
drawn from the process which leads to it. Vast as the theatre 
may be which that process may, in the course of time, come to 
occupy. His presence must, in some sense, pervade the entire 
space. Innumerable as the parts belonging to the process 
may speedily come to be, and receiving as they may innu- 
merable accessions at every moment after, all of them must 
be known to Him in their natures, relations, and remotest 


effects. Yarious, and formidable to finite apprehension, as maj 
be the apparent obstacles to the attainment of the end, arising 
from the ever-varying combinations of circumstances ; from 
the junctures of events which had their respective causes in 
flitierent ages of creation, and in different departments of the 
universe ; and, especially, from the voluntary actions of free 
agents ; not merely must He be prepared to meet them all, but 
(as an illustration of all-sufficiency) to render them all condu- 
cive, as parts of His plan, to the attainment of His ultimate 
end. Ever receding, and even unattainable (in an absolute 
sense) as that end, owing to its perfection, must necessarily be, 
yet as long as there are aspects of the Divine character to be 
manifested, new creatures must continue to be formed for the 
purpose of displaying and appreciating them ; or, which would 
seem to bp better still, those already formed must be placed by 
Him in new situations for beholding it in fresh aspects, and 
have their powers enlarged for appreciating such enlarged dis- 
closures ; or — that which would seem to be still more worthy 
of all-sufficiency — both these conditions might be made to 
meet in the same order of creatures ; that is, besides taking up 
into their constitution all that is most important in the consti- 
tution of the creatures preceding them, they may be made to 
exliibit something more excellent of their owai in addition, and 
be placed in circumstances favorable to the ever-advancing 
exercise and development of the whole. And thus the glories 
which creation may display at any period indefinitely distant 
from the first moment of the opening manifestation, and the 
power which the creature may at such period possess for ap- 
preciating it, will only be the means, in the hand of the Medi- 
ator, for entering on a new career of Divine manifestation as 
immeasurably distant, and incomparably more glorious still; 
and the attainment of that be only the bare preparation for 
another beyond, so m^uch more glorious than the preceding 
that the eye which had gazed on all the splendors of the past, 
and the ear which had heard all the speculations and conjec- 
tures to which that past had given rise, and the heart which 
had been occupied ten thousand ages in putting all these 
together into every imaginable form of ideal glory, Avill yet 
have to confess that it had never seen, nor heard, nor even 
imagined, anything to be compared with it — and so on ad 
injinilum. So that as the manifestation will never have reached 
a j)oint beyond which it cannot be carried further still, the 
mediatorial office can never, absolutely, and in every sense, 


cease ; in other words, the reLation which the Mediator sustains 
in the great purpose of manifestation binds or obliges Him to do 
everything which may be necessary to the full attaiimient of 
the great end — and therefore to continue the manifestation for 

This view of the mediatorial obligation harmonizes with, and 
is suggested by, that numerous and important class of Scriptures 
which appears to take such obligation for granted ; and which 
represents even the self-denial and sufterings of the Mediator, 
as events which "behoved him " — and which " ought " to take 
place. The proximate obhgation implied in these Scriptures, 
indeed, may be that which bound Him to the employment of 
suitable means for the attainment of a particular end. That 
particular end w-as the recovery of a race wdiich by voluntarily 
obstructing the great process of manifestation, and by thus for- 
feiting all right to the happiness attending it, could be restored 
to it again only when such restoration could be made as safe to 
the great process, and as conducive to the great end, as their 
abandonment to the consequences of their sinful defection would 
be. And the Mediator, having undertaken to effect that resto- 
ration, had brought himself under obligation to do all that was 
necessary to render this particular end consistent wdth the 
attainment of the great end. The event showed that suffering 
and death were the necessary means — and therefore even 
suffering and death " became Him " and He " ought " to endure 

But this view accounts only for the proximate obligation. 
It leaves unanswered the natural and momentus inquiry why 
such an obligation was incurred? Whereas, the right answer, 
I apprehend, would show that this proximate obligation, great 
and wonderful as it is, resolves itself into one higher ^and more 
comprehensive still ; and that to this the class of Scriptures 
referred to ultimatehj relates — namely, the all-comprehending 
obligation to which His mediatorial relation binds Him, of 
doing everything essential to the great §nd. In virtue of that 
relation. He was bound from the beginning, not only to keep 
the great process in constant activity, but to keep it ever advanc- 
ing and enlarging ; and this, as we have seen, involved the re- 
quirement that He should meet every exigency wdiich might 
arise, and even turn it to the account of the final result. His 
eartCly humihation, indeed, is, probably, on many accounts, the 
central wonder and most amazing part of that duty to ^vhich 
His mediatorial relation can ever oblige Him ; but still it is 


only one of an unbroken series of acts, which, beginning with 
the lirst liat of creation, can never end, unless the great manifest- 
ation itself, on account of which the relation exists, could ever 
arrive at completion. 

HI. This view seems to place us in an advantageous position 
for gaining an insight into the very reason of the medial rela- 
tion — disclosing, not merely what it is, but partially, at least, 
why it is so. That tliis subject should be felt to be profound, 
might have been expected, if for no other reason than that it 
appears to involve, in some degree, the very nexus which unites 
the internal economy of the Divine nature with the external 
economy of the dependent universe. Even in the philosophy 
of our own minds, the mode in which the thinking principle 
within is related to the world without — how that which is I, 
can come to know that which is not I, is the great, and, com- 
paratively, the only difficulty. So that every theory on the 
mind derives its character from the view which is taken of this 
starting-point: — one denying that there is any subjective; 
another, that there is any objective; another affirming that 
they are identical ; and a fourth, that they are not identical 
but inexplicably related. Precisely in like manner, some 
have denied that there is any Originating Mind, and regard 
the universe as eternal ; others have affirmed that there is no 
material universe, but that God alone exists ; others, that God 
and nature are identical ; and others, that they exist distinctly, 
but are inexplicably related. Now Divine revelation discloses 
the vital fact that they are related, and that the relation is, 
properly understood, not direct but medial. 

1. B-ut what is the reason of the fact ? Is it a natural rea- 
son merely ; one, that is, arising from the disparity of nature 
between the created and the infinite Invisible ? Such was the 
theory of many of the emanative systems of the East ; indirectly 
derived, but perverted, from the Hebrew Scriptures. They 
taught that as the Highest Being is, in himself, incomprehensi- 
ble and unapproachable, there can be no immediate transit 
from Him to a world of created existences ; that, consequently, 
it became necessary that there should be found in God some 
transition-point to make His fulness comprehensible and com- 
municable ; and that this was found in Himself from eternity 
in a Being like Himself, through whom the concealed God was 
manifested. And this opinion, slightly modified, and repro- 
duced in some of the early Christian creeds, has continued to 


exercise a powerful influence on the theology of this, subject 
down to the present clay. That it involves some truths v/e 
readily admit ; but, if it is to be regarded as the whole truth, 
the reply to it is obvious — namely, that if the supposed medi- 
um be infinite, the natural chasm intended to be filled up be- 
tween God and the creature remains, for one infinite is as un- 
approachable as another ; and that if it be not infinite, it no 
less remains, for a finite medium necessarily leaves the gulf as 
it was — infinite. 

2. Is the reason, then, a moral one ; and, if so, what is its 
specific nature ? The general reply would doubtless be in the 
affirmative, aiil^to this eifect — that the constitution of a uni- 
verse worthy of an Infinitely Perfect Being involved the exis- 
tence of free agents, and therefore of a moral administration ; 
that under such an administration righteously administered, for- 
giveness, in the event of sin, would be impossible, unless such 
a compensation should be provided as would render forgiveness 
as safe and honorable to the administration as the infliction of 
the merited punishment would be ; and that God, therefore, 
foreseeing such an event, and determined on the illustration of 
His infinite grace, devised a system of mediation, at once safe 
for His government, suited to the exigency of the sinner, and 
glorious for His own character. Now, not only is this true — it 
is inestimable truth. To a sinful world it is Gospel. But 
to regard this as the whole of the reason, would be to limit the 
reason to a single act or class of actions ; whereas, if our pre- 
ceding views are correct, that reason is to be found in the pur- 
pose of Divine manifestation, just as the ground of that is to 
be found in the great Reason of all — the l3ivine Nature. 

3. For the sake of distinguishing the original ground of the 
mediatorial relation, then, from that just named, and yet avoid- 
ing the employment of a term liable to misinterpretation, we 
would designate it simply as the priniary moral reason, in con- 
tradistinction from the last, which we regard as the proximate 
moral reason ; and this primary reason we conceive to be, be- 
cause nothing else than the institution and voluntary assumption 
of the subordinate office, understood by the mediatorial relation, 
would have adequately numifested the infinite Holiness and Love 
of God, or His cdl-sufficiency for the well-being of an i7itelUge7it 
and accountable universe. 

That other reasons for this amazing arrangement are dedu- 
cible from Scripture, is gladly admitted. There is that great 
proximate reason, to which we have just adverted. There is 


also the reason, that we might not he discouraged, hy a sense of 
God's ineffadle majesty^ from approaching Him. And there is 
the weighty reason of the moral influence arising from the Ife- 
diator's example of ivilling subordination to the Father. That 
He should be seen standing in the view of tlie universe — seen 
by his own creatures — in a station of obedience ! Who else 
can refuse to obey? That He, of his own free-"\vill, should 
consent to serve ! — what creature- will but must feel constrain- 
ed to yield ? That He should find glory in this subordination ! 
— does it not point the intelligent universe the only way to 
perfection — namely, by its coincidence with the Divine will ? 
But these reasons, and others which might ]^ named, are all 
included in that which I have designated as the primary moral 
reason. And I venture to repeat, that, not only is the mani- 
festation of the Divine all-sufficiency that primary reason, but 
that nothing else than the mediatorial relation can be conceiv- 
ed of as furnishing an adequate manifestation of that all-suffi- 
ciency. That the Divine Being might have abstained, had He 
so pleased, from all external manifestation, I believe to be a 
doctrine of Scripture ; but I believe also that, having deter- 
mined on the manifestation, nothing less than the voluntary 
subordination of one of the persons in the Godhead could ade- 
quately express the resources of all-sufficiency. Had the suf- 
ficiency of God been hmited ; or had He designed that the 
manifestation should have been of any amount of His excel- 
lence short of all-sufficiency — i. e., had He himself been im- 
perfect, or had He determined on an imperfect manifestation — 
an arrangement inferior to that of the system of mediation 
might have sufficed ; but if God all-sufficient is to be revealed, 
this would appear to be the adequate and only exponent. And 
still farther, so effectually does the mediatorial arrangement 
provide for the purposed manifestation, that the mere willing- 
ness of the Mediator to sustain the relation, apart from all that 
He has done in consequence, and, hypothetically speaking, 
even short of His actually sustaining it at all — His mere luill- 
ingness to sustain it, could that have been signified to the uni- 
verse, would have given us a deeper insight into the character 
of God, and have furnished a brighter illustration of His all- 
sufficiency, than it could ever have entered into the mind of man 
or angel to conceive. The wonder is, then, not so much that 
He should fulfil every condition to Avhich His mediatorial rela- 
tion obliges Him, as that He should be found sustaining the 
relation at all from which that obligation takes its rise. To 


say that He foresaw these conditions, is only saying that He is 
equal to the relation which He sustains. And to say that He 
yet voluntarily undertook that office, is only saying that He 
who is at the head of a system of free agency is Himself a 
free agent. But that He should have done this, I repeat, that 
He who had known no necessity but that of being, and of 
being what Pie was, should have brought himself under obli- 
gation ; that He who had known no relation but that of the 
ineffable union of the Godhead, should oblige Himself to sus- 
tain a relation to a created universe — to become the centre 
of an ever-enlarging system of such relations ; and to do every- 
thing necessary to the well-being of such relations ; that the 
cause of all things, ad extra, should have voluntarily assumed 
that office as an effect of a previous purpose ; that " the Be- 
ginning of Creation " should range Himself in a line with His 
own creatures — subjecting Himself to His own laws — as the 
first term in a series of means, for the accomplislunent of the 
end which that purpose contemplated ; — this can be account- 
ed for only by supposing that the end is the illustration of the 
Divine all-sufficiency. 

Nor is this final reason unfrequently or obscurely adverted 
to in the word of God. To this effect, ultimately, are those pas- 
sages to which reference has been made already. So also is the 
inspired declaration, that in the most self-denying acts of the 
Mediator, the eternal Father vv^as allowing or appointing that 
which " became Him ; " but, then, the capacity or relation in 
which it became Him is distinctly stated, as " Him, by whom 
are all tilings, and for whom are all things," — as Him who is 
His own end, and the end of everything else, even of the sys- 
tem of mediation, with all that it includes. And to this view 
the Mediator Himself sets His seal in all those passages, cited 
in the last chapter, in which He declares, that whatever He 
said, did, or suffered, the whole was for the disclosure of the 
Divine glory. 

(1.) Then, it is to be inferred, that the character of the 
Father is perfectly free from that unlovely and invidious light 
vvdiich some views of mediation are charged with unjustly 
casting on it. The object of the Father in appointing, and of 
the Son in voluntarily assimiing the relation, is one — the ful- 
filment of the great purpose. So that the arrangement is re- 
quired by a principle rather than by a person ; is rendered, 
on the one hand, for the very same reason that it is required 


on the other — namely, that the full manifestation of the Divine 
glory to the universe might be made possible. 

(2.) That as the appointment of such an arrangement ar- 
gues no deficiency of benevolence on the one hand, but the 
reverse, so the accession to it, on the other, argues no absolute 
loss of original prerogatives, or entire renunciation of ante- 
cedent rights. These, as they belong to the Divine nature, 
can never be detached or diminished, but are as unchangeable 
as the nature to which they belong. Besides, these preroga- 
tives constitute the fitness of the Mediator, or His infinite ade- 
quacy, for the mediatorial office, and enable Him to discharge 
it ; and surely His rights are not to be regarded as annulled 
because of His perfections. And it is because of His retain- 
ing these original prerogatives, as well as on account of His 
manifestation of God, that He is often spoken of in Scripture, 
interchangeably, as acting both in His original and in His offi- 
cial capacity. 

(3.) That the mediatorial obligation v.dll never terminate. 
As its sole design is the manifestation of God, its duration 
must run parallel with the manifestation ; so that unless the 
universe Avere to be blotted out, or the perfections of Deity to 
be exhausted, it can know no end. Commencing prior to the 
introduction of sin, it will continue, in some sense, after all 
the probationary perturbations of the moral system have ceas- 
ed, as the indispensable and everlasting proof of the Divine 
all-sufiiciency. And what a view does this wonderful economy 
afford us of the all-comprehending glory of that end which 
could justify the adoption of such means in order to fulfil it ! 

(4.) And how inevitably does the arrangement suggest that 
if the primary relation gives rise to obligation, every subordi- 
nate relation will do the same ; that the Creator will not be the 
only being under obligation ; that all His creatures, in propor- 
tion to their relation to Him and to each other, will be under 
oblisration also. 

thp: supresie right. 43 


The Supreme Right ; or, Mediatorial Authority and Happi- 
7iess commensurate with the discharge of Obligation. 

If tlie primary oblio;ation be commensurate with the media- 
torial relation, it may be expected that the discharge of that 
obligation will be associated with corresponding rights, so that 
if the Being discharging it, do everything necessary to a con- 
stant approximation towards the great end, it will follow that 
he should meantime enjoy, or possess a right consistently witli 
that end, both to whatever is necessary to the prosecution of 
his object, and to whatever flows from it. Here is a two-fold 
right ; the first part, presupposing obligation, and the second, 
presupposing its discharge. 

I. Independently of His original and unalienable rights, 
the nature of the Great End invests Him with a right of the 
highest order in relation to whatever may be included in the 
mystery of the Godhead. For example, if there be a distinc- 
tion or subsistency in the Divine nature, designated the Holy 
Spirit ; if the attainment of the end require the disclosure of 
tills mysterious fact ; and if this disclosure can be only effected, 
consistently with the end, by His employment of the agency 
of this Divine subsistency, His office entitles Him to avail Him- 
self of that agency. His right is commensurate with His obli- 
gation. The end at which He aims being unlimited, all limita- 
tion must be removed from the means ; so that all the resources 
of the Divine nature are to be considered as at His disposal. 

II. 1. If He call any order of intelligent creatures into ex- 
istence, with a view to their subordination to the great end, 
(and for no other purpose can they exist,) He has a right to 
their proper activity and service. If He Himself be under 
obligation to attain a certain end ; and if that obligation in* 
elude the production and employment of appropriate means, 
the same obligation rests on the means, provided they are 
capable of obligation, as necessary steps to the attainment of 
the end ; for without them, the end cannot be attained. This 
is the very condition of their existence ; for had it not been 


for that end they would not have been called into being ; had 
it not been for the mediatorial constitution on which that end 
is pursued, they could not have existed ; and were it not that 
they are intended to serve as means to that end, they would 
not have been constituted what they are. They hold exist- 
ence, therefore, and their particular constitution of existence, 
on tho prime condition that they answer the great end for 
which they have received both ; and to do this is at once their 
excellence and their "happiness. He who has imparted both, 
has in no sense parted with His right in either. The excel- 
lence and happiness now found in the creature, existed poten- 
tially in the Creator before they came into the creature ; but 
in imparting them to the creature, the Creator intended, not 
that His own glory ghould be thereby left unaffected, but that 
they should answer an end by which both they should be in- 
creased, and the Divine glory be thereby augmented. 

2. If, then, any of the creatures are so constituted that their 
activity increases their power of subserving the great end of 
their existence. He has a right to the whole of that increase ; 
for it is owing entirely to His having constituted them as they 
are, that they are capable of such increase ; and the great rea- 
son why He did so, is the same as that for which He constituted 
them at all — to subserve the great end of the Divine mani- 

3. If, again, owing to the providence or plan on which the 
end will be sought, and the consequent relationships in which 
successive creatures will stand to each other, their power of 
subserving that end should be augmented. He will, for the 
same reason, have a right to the whole of that augmentation. 
For, as the great system of means advances from one stage of 
development to another, it will be only the gradual unfolding 
of a plan which had always existed in His infinite mind. And 
as it existed there only with a view to the end, so whatever may 
be gained by the accomplishment of a preceding part of the plan, 
is so much gained for the part succeeding, and so on to the end. 

4. If, again, owing to any of the free agents, which the plan 
contemplates, abusing their free agency, and withholding their 
power, and thus violating the condition of their existence, the 
progress of the plan and the attainment of the great end should 
be thwarted, or, in any sense, endangered ; and' if, then, owing 
to his interposition in any way, the derangement of the system 
should be remedied, and be even turned to the account of the 
great end, He would have a right to all the advantage which 


that gracious interposition would give Him. Absolute as His 
right to their activity and devotedness was before, He has now 
established a new right of peculiar cogency. Before, He had 
called them from nothingness into happy existence, now he has 
called them from misery to happiness. But for the first act, 
they would never have been ; but for the second, they would 
never have been ought but miserable. Whatever may be the 
amount of their new obligation, therefore. He is entitled to the 
result of it ; — of all the additional moral influence which it 
gives him over their minds, of all the new motives to obedi- 
ence which it should call into existence, and of all the increase 
of power arising from the stimulating influence thus shed over 
the great system of means. 

III. The Mediator has a right also to whatever satisfaction ' 
can arise from the contemplation of His own conduct in its re- 
spective relations to God and to the creature. 

1. There is the happiness of beholding His ideas or designs 
ohjectively realized — He has a right to that. Accordingly, 
He is represented as having contemplated the first objects 
even of the material world, as they came forth from His hand, 
with Divine complacency. He looked on them as visible re- 
alizations of eternal types. On comparing them, so to speak, 
with the archetypes in His own infinite mind, He beheld the 
perfect resemblance, and was satisfied. He regarded them as 
exponents or signs of certain corresponding qualities, infinitely 
greater in the Divine nature. And He beheld them in their 
prospective application ; serving as indexes or memorials of 
that infinite greatness to myriads of minds which He purposed 
to create, and so to constitute that each of all these things 
should operate on them suggestively. He knew, therefore, all 
the lofty thoughts which these objects would ever suggest, and 
all the exquisite delight those thoi%hts would occasion, and 
all the holy admiration which the perception of this relation 
between things that differ would ever produce. 

He looked on those objects also as the first in an endless 
series yet to come. In His first acts of creation, the great 
architect was laying the foundation of an all-comprehending 
and eternal temple ; and His infinite mind is to be regarded as 
having embraced, by anticipation, all the sublime results. The 
worshippers, the homage, the temple filled with the glory of 
the Divine manifestation — all were present to His mind — and 
He rejoiced in the glorious prospect. 


2. There is the happiness of prospectively beholding the 
activity, enlargement, and progress of the whole system of 
creation and providence — He has a right to the enjoyment of 
that. Not more certainly is the earth perpetually speeding on 
its destined course through space, and carrying with it all the 
momentous interests of humanity, than His plan, freighted 
with an eternal weight of glory for the creature, and with a 
weightier revenue of glory to God, is in constant progress. 
Never for a moment does it retrograde — never pause — never 
linger. Look on it when He will, He beholds it arrived at 
that stage where, a thousand ages ago, He foresaw it would 
be ; and look forward to what distant age He will, He beholds 
it, in anticipation, already there arrived. Hence, He is often 
represented in Scripture as foretasting the happiness arising 
from the contemplation of this progress. Out of the depths 
of eternity, He looked onward to the period when creation 
should commence. '' From everlasting, from the beginning, 
or ever the earth was, when there were no depths, no fountains 
abounding with water, when as yet he had not made the earth, 
nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world," i 
He anticipated the period when all these would be. Beyond 
this. He looked on to the remote period when the earth should 
be prepared for the reception and sustenance of animal life. 
He saw its forests wave ; its waters roll ; its surface clothed 
with verdure ; and the whole replenished with various orders 
of sentient beings. Ages' beyond, and when, by successive 
creations and mighty intervals of change, the earth should 
have been slowly prepared for the reception of a being such 
as man, His eye fixed on the time when, in order to that event, 
He should " prepare the heavens, and set a compass upon the 
face of the deep ; when He should establish the clouds above ; 
and v^^hen he should give to the sea His decree that the wa- 
ters should not pass His •commandment." Already, in His 
prescient view, the sun had received its final commission to 
shine, and earth had received its general outline of Alp and 
Apennine, and Himalaya — of Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediter- 
ranean. Ah-eady Eden bloomed, and " a river went out of it 
to water the garden." Man's mansion was prepared, but where 
was the great inhabitant ? The theatre was ready — where 
was the being on whose introduction the mighty drama should 
begin? Already, in intention, He saw that creature come, 

> bnPl n'Tn^? ^IJ!}^^ — Prov. vii. 26. Rendered by Gcsenius the first 
(earliest) clod' of the earth — i. e. which was the first fonued, 


radiant in h.s own image — the crown of creation : and, os 
He saw, He already heard " the morning stars sing together ; " 
saw earth's first sabbath dawn ; beheld man's earliest act of 
adoration; and pronounced the whole to be "good." Even 
then, though existing only in His Divine purpose, "He rejoiced 
in the habitable parts of the earth, and His delights were with 
the sons of men." He foresaw His blessing enlargin.:^ Japheth, 
and causing him to dwell in the tents of Shem. His purpose 
had formed the great continents of the earth, had smootlied the 
valleys where nations should be cradled, and given direction 
to the course of the rivers whose banks should become the 
seat of empire. 'The actual distribution of Canaan among the 
tribes of Israel was only the transcription of an eternal plan. 
" Remember the days of old, consider the years of many gen- 
erations ; ask thy father, and he will show thee ; thy elders, 
and they will tell thee. When the Most High divided to the 
nations their inheritance ; when He separated the sons of 
Adam, He set the bounds of the people according to the num- 
ber of the children of Israel." Before Moses — before Pisgah 
itself, from which Moses looked down on the promised land, 
existed — - His eye had looked down from the height of His 
sanctuaiy, and hdd beheld prospectively that Sinai whence His 
law should be given ; that Zion which should be crowned with 
His temple ; that Calvary which should sustain the mystery 
of the cross. 

Now that the prospect of the development of His great 
plan affords him profound satisfaction is evident, not only from 
the Scriptures already quoted, but from the fact that he has 
sought, at times, to inspire His church with an ecstasy of de- 
light by affording them glimpses of its onward course. All the 
eublime disclosures of prophecy are merely revelations of that 
future on which His eye is perpetually fixed ; and by the pros- 
pect of which He would fain admit the faithful to a fellowship 
in His own delight. And all the satisfaction those disclosures 
have ever yielded to an Abraham, who " saw His day, and was 
glad;" to a David, an Isaiah, an Ezekiel, a Paul, a John, en- 
tranced with the vision — to the whole church, which " having 
seen them afar off, were persuaded of them, and embraced 
them," and died in exulting faith — all this is only a particle 
of the boundle-ss "joy which they have ever set before him." 

3. To Him also belongs the happiness of prospectively be- 
holding the effects of His gratuitous interposition for human 
salivation. If, owing to no defect iu the original constitution 


of the threat plan of Providence, any part of that plan be vio- 
lated by man ; and if, owing to no original defect in man. 
but owing to an abuse of his necessary free-agency, that viola- 
tion take place ; and if, therefore, without any claim on the 
interposition of the Mediator, He yet determined to remedy 
the evil, to take advantage of it in a way which shall accrue 
to the infinite good of the very beings who had introduced the 
evil, and to the furtherance of the great end of Divine mani- 
festation — surely He has a right to the happiness arising from 
a view of the effects of His own interposition. Accordingly, 
there is a class of Scriptures w^iich represents Him as rejoic- 
m^- in the prospect of this interposition. And the satisfaction 
which He derives from the contemplation of that prospect, is 
heightened by the vivid contrast in which it ever stands before 
his°view with what must have been the dreadful alternative if 
He had not interposed. And w^hen He anticipates the day in 
which " He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and ad- 
mired in all them that beheve," He " sees of the travail df His 
soul, and is satisfied." 

4. Then He is entitled to the grateful homage of all whc 
share the effects of His gracious interposition. Hence His 
own language, " that all men should honor the Son even as 
they honor the Father." 

5. The happiness flowing from the fact that on account of 
His mediatorial work. He is the object of the Father's infinite 
delight, is greater still. For He estimates that complacency 
at its proper worth, which is infinite, absolutely infinite ; and 
therefore greater than the intelligent creation, though its capa- 
city be ahvays enlarging, w^ill ever be able to experience. 

G. And then there is the happiness derivable from knowing 
that He is attaining the greatest of all ends — the manifesta- 
tion of the Divine all-sufficiency. Now, if this end be so great, 
that every other s-tands to it only in the relation of means ; if 
this is infinitely greater than all other ends combined, the hap- 
piness arising from the attainment of it must be infinitely 
greater also. The happiness flowing from the spectacle of a 
redeemed and happy creation must be great ; for He knew not 
only what would be the exact measure of its happiness at this 
moment, but how happy it will be ten thousand ages hence, 
when its capacity for happiness will be increased ten thousand- 
fold — with all the hai)piness it will have enjoyed in the inter- 
val, and so on for ever. But inconceivably high as He values 
that complacency, more highly still does He value that glory 


on account of the manifestation of wliicli that complacency is 
accorded to Him, He estimates everything as the eternal 
Father does ; so that if the manifestation of the Divine glory 
be so dear to the Father that He pours His complacency on 
the Son for undertaking it, the Mediator Himself regarding it 
in the same light, must derive from the contemplation of its 
attainment His highest delight. The prospect of beholding a 
universe of dependent beings hanging on independent all-suffi- 
cience ; every heai^t a channel through which a fulness of de- 
light is constantly streaming from the great central source, and 
every moment enlarging to receive more ; every sin forgiven, 
every evil remedied, every want supplied ; the whole reflect- 
ing, and replenished with, the Divine glory — this is the con- 
summation of that glory which is set before Him. Much as 
He may delight in the favor of Deity, He rates tlie glory of 
the Deity higher still : for it is that which gives even to His 
favor all its value ; so that to be the means of manifesting it 
to the universe is the crown of His mediatorial happiness, as 
it is the end of creation. 

And thus by a circularity in the nature of the mediatorial 
constitution we are brought back to the point from which we 
set out — that the glory of God is the chief end of creation. 
It must necessarily have been so independently of all appoint- 
ment ; and even had there been (supposing an impossibiUty,) 
an appointment to the contrary. For even if a decree had 
appointed that the ultimate end of all things should be the 
well-being of the creature, the infinite capacity for enjoyment 
of the Divine Being would not have allowed it to be the 
greatest end ; since God in beholding, that well-being and the 
manifestation of the Divine glory which it carried along with 
it, would by right and necessity of nature, enjoy more than all 
the creatures together — infinitely more. And if God, and 
not the creature, would thus have been, by necessity of nature, 
the great end of all things, we are to suppose that He is so 
by choice ; or that He approves of, and proposes to himself, 
as an end, that which the infinite excellence of His nature 
conditionally necessitates. The great reason, then, accounts 
for the primary purpose ; the purpose originates the medial 
relation ; the relation imposes the great obligation ; and the 
obligation is followed by the right of the being discharging it ; 
that is, the last ensues on the attainment, or, in proportion to 
the attainment of the first : and thus the Mediator, as such, 
firids His own end in attaining the great end. 


Principles deducihle from the preceding Lectures ; or, Laim of 
the Manifestation. 

From the preceding scriptural views of that which is predi- 
cable of the Deity, considered as prior to the manifestation of 
the divine all-sufficiency, and in order to it, the following 
general deductions seem logically to result. Certain other 
intermediate principles, indeed, might with equal clearness, be 
inferred ; but, for the present, it is proposed to deal only with 
general truths. 


That every diviyiely originated object and event is a result, of 
which the supreme and ultimate reason is in the Divine Nature. 

By which we mean that, not only is a reason for it to be 
found there, — this would only acquit the Maker from a charge 
of folly — but, that the ultimate and adequate reason why it is, 
and what it is, is to be found there. For, if the origin of 
everything which may exist must be traced to him as the great 
fii'st cause, everything will, in some sense, be Hke him ; i. e., ii 
will be, and will be what it is, when it proceeds from him, 
because he is what he is ; for before it was produced, it was 
potentially included in him. Additional reasons may be found 
in itself, and in other parts of creation, to account for its exist- 
ence. And of vast significance may many of these reasons be 
to the creature. Yet all these will be found subordinate and 
traceable to that infinite reason which includes, but is inde- 
pendent of them all, as belonging to the infinite nature of God. 
These subordinate reasons may be only coexistent with the 
respective natures in which they are found, — beginning and 
ending, therefore, in some cases, within the space of a few short 


hours — soon, and perhaps forever, to be forgotten by all the 
rest of creation : but the infinite reason of their being at all 
existed from eternity in the nature of God, and can never cease 
to exist. However insignificant, comparatively, any given 
creature may be, not only is the reason of its existence to be 
sought in God, as prior to, in the order of time, and causative 
of, that existence ; but as a reason which approved itself to, 
and, in some sense, expressed a property of the divine nature. 
So that even if there were no purpose of manifesting Divine 
all-sufficiency, — but the creation were to be limited to the pro- 
duction of a single creature — still, as every effect must be in 
some sense like its cause, that single effect would be, (not 
formally but virtually,) a manifestation, pro tanto, of the Divine 
Nature : in other words, its ultimate reason would be found in 

And on the same ground, every expression of His will, 
however it may be made, whether by word or act, will be a 
manifestation of somethinor anterior, viz. of the Divine Nature. 


TJiat everything sustains a relation to the great purpose^ and 
is made subservient to it. 

If our view of the Divine purpose be correct, it will follow, 
that besides the former law of the creature's existence, by 
which it is what it is, because God is what he is, and which 
law can never be superseded ; there is another law, arising from 
the Divine purpose, which makes it a primary condition of the 
creature's existence that it should contribute in some measure 
to the Great IManifestation. We can conceive, then, of a two- 
fold reason for everything, ac? extra: — the one, ari.dng from 
what God w, the other from what he purposes — the former a 
natural reason, the latter a moral necessity or reason of Divine 
appointment — the former looking back to its origin, the latter 
looking onward to its end. For if the design of the whole be 
to manifest the Divine All-sufficiency, every part of the whole 
must of course combine to the same end. And as nothing 
which may exist, can have a separate, exclusive, and indepen- 
dent end of its own, everything will find its own end, in answer- 
ing His. 



Tliat the Manifestation will he carried on by a system of means, 
or medial relations. 

If our view of the great relation be correct, we maj expect, 
that that relation, as constituting the medium of the Divine 
JManifestation, will itself be manifested ; or that, in harmony 
with that primary relation, the whole manifestation will consist 
of, or be carried on by, a system of corresponding medial rela- 
tions, (relations rising with the rising nature of the being sus- 
taining them ; ) otherwise, that great relation itself will be but 
partially disclosed, if it be not even entirely, and for ever 

Another reason for the medial constitution of the Creation, 
is, that the Great Relation is not merely the medium of the 
manifestation, but an important part of it ; just as the sun, 
besides being the medium of vision, is also the most glorious 
object of creation. Now as everything exists for the Divine 
Manifestation, of which that relation itself is a vital part, 
everything may be expected to manifest that Relation by itself 
sustaining a medial relation. 

And, as everything is to express something of the Divine 
nature, and the Great Relation involves an infinite disclosure 
of that nature, everything may be reasonably expected to bear, 
in some respects, the stamp of that Relation. 

And further, — if, as we have shown in a previous chapter, 
the Great Purpose requires that the Manifestation should be 
progressive, it follows that it must consist of a succession of 
events, in wdiich each part will necessarily hold a relation to 
all the parts preceding, and following ; just as the Primary re- 
lation is medial t^tween the purpose and the end. For we 
can neither conceive of an event which must not be conceived 
of, as being, in some sense, an effect ; nor of a succession of 
events which must not be conceived of as medially dependent 
and related. So that viewed in connection w^th the second 
law, which determines that everything shall subserve the great 
end, this determines the mode or form in which that subser- 
viency shall be rendered — by everything sustaining a relation, 
not merely to that end, but to everything else contributing to 
that end — a relation of mutual dependence and influence. 



That everything will he found either^ promoting, or under an 
obligation to promote, the great end commensurate with its means 
and relations. 

If our view of the Great Relation be correct — that it brings 
him who sustains it under obligation commensurate with his 
means of answering the great end — we may expect to find, 
that every subordinate relation will be accompanied by obHga- 
tions corresponding in their number and amount with its pow- 
er of promoting the end. 

For, according to the first law, it will necessarily express 
sometliing of the Divine nature ; and according to the second 
law, it receives existence on the condition of manifesting that 
resemblance, and of contributing towards the Great End ; 
and according to the third, it is placed in a system of Medial 
Relations, in order that such manifestation may be made pos- 


That everything will he entitled to an amount of good, or of 
well-being, or will he found in the enjoyment of it, proportionate 
to the discharge of its obligations, or, to the degree of its con^ 
formity to the laws of its being. 

For as, according to the first law, everything will necessarily 
express something of the Divine nature ; and acco^;ding to the 
second, will come into existence in order to express it ; and 
according to the third, will receive and sustain a relation in 
which tQ fulfil this law of its being ; and according to the 
fourth, will be held under obligation to this effect ; it will fol- 
low, according to the fifth, that it cannot fulfil this law of its 
being without enjoying well-being. For, to manifest whatever 
its nature is calculated to exhibit of God, is to stand related 
on one side to the greatest of beings, and on the other to the 
greatest of ends ; so that to fulfil the law of its being, or to 
find its own highest end, is to answer the Great end ; nor 
could it be supposed to be in any way deprived of its right, 
while thus fulfilling the law of its being, without the great end 
itself being, in so far, defeated. And here is the coincidence 
of the creature's happiness with the Creator's glory. 

For example ; if the intelligent creature can do the same 
thing in obedience to different laws, his happiness can never 


rise above the law which lie fulfils ; and if that law be a lower 
one, v.'hen it might, and therefore ought to be a higher one — 
i. e. if the higher be sacrificed to the lower, — though obedi- 
ence to the lower may not be unattended with reward or grat- 
ification, — the painful sense of having violated, or disregarded 
the higher, will more than counterbalance the gratification. 

According to these five laws, then, everything may be viewed, 
in its origin ; its ultimate design ; the way in which it answers 
that design ; its obligation to do this as the necessary means 
to an end ; its consequent share in the great end. Or, in it- 
self, as a separate and isolated product of the Divine Being ; 
in its intended subserviency to the great end ; in the nature of 
that subserviency, or the relations which it sustains in the great 
system of mutual dependencies ; in the obligatory fulfilment 
of this great conditional law of its existence ; in the natural 
and necessary results of such fulfilment, in its own well-being. 
The jirst law determines that it shall he — bear a resemblance 
to God. The second, why it shall be — as a manifestation of 
that resemblance, in subserviency to the Great End. The 
third, hoiu \i shall do this — as a part of a great system of 
means. The fourth, the indispensable necessity of doing it — 
as means to an end. And the ffth, what shall result to it 
from answering that End. 

According to the first law, it may be said, that everything 
looks back to its origin. — According to the second, forwards to 
its ultimate end. — According to the third, around, to its medial 
relations. — According to the fourth, on the duty consecpient 
on these relations. — And according to the fifth, ivithin, on its 
own well-being, or particular end, as the result of ans^vering 
the Ultimate End. 


That everything will le found to involve the existence of neces- 
sary truth. 

By necessary trutli is meant that of which the proposition 
not only is, but must be true, and of which, therefore, the ne- 
gation is not only false but impossible ; so that it exists neces- 
sarily, and therefore universally, independently of the exist- 
ence of the individual intellect which contem})lates it. The 
origin of our knowledge of it, whether by induction, or other- 
wise, is a question ibr sej)arate consideration. 

The possibility of the manifestation, for example, pre-sup- 


poses tlie Bxislence of certain necessary truths. It pre-supposes 
the existence oi space and duration in which this manifestation 
is to be made — pre-snpposes them as conditions of the mani- 
festation. For, as nothing outward can be conceived of, with- 
out space — and notliing existing, without time in wliich to 
exist, it follows that everything 7nust be, in some sense, related 
to space and time, or be included in them ; and therefore space 
and duration must have existed prior to, and independently of, 
the manifestation. It pre-supposes also the possibility of caus- 
ation, for it involves the necessity that every event shall be, in 
some sense, an effect ; and this proposition, therefore, would 
have been true, even if the manifestation had never taken 
place. It pre-supposes, then, the existence of the Great First 
Cause or Being to be manifested, whose absolutely unlimited 
perfection, suppose infinite space and infinite duration ; and, 
consequently, whose existence would have been a truth even if 
the manifestation had never been made. And thus as the 
purpose refers us to the Great Reason of which it is simply 
and necessarily the expression, and as the Great Reason is all 
that it is necessarily, or independently of everything ad extra, 
so every event included in that purpose, being an effect or ex- 
pression of that reason, will sustain some relation to the neces- 
sary and the independent. 


Tliat everytJdng will he found to involve the existence of con- 
tingent truth. 

By contingent truth is meant that of which the existence is 
not necessary, but conditional — true, because something else 
is true ; or dependent for its truth on something else. 

As the possibility of the manifestation pre-supposes the ex- 
istence of necessary truth, so the purpose of the manifestation 
implies the existence of contingent truth — contingent, that is, 
in the sense already explained, as opposed to absolutely neces- 
sary. For had the manifestation been necessary in any other 
sense than that of being infinitely desirable, or morally neces- 
sary, no purpose of manifestation needed to have been formed. 
And then, as the great purpose itself was contingent on the 
Sovereign will of God, so every part of the internal arrange- 
ments of the plan {provided they secure the fulfilment of the 
purpose, or the manifestation of divine all-suf^ciency,) must be 
contingent also, or dependent on " the good pleasure " of that 


will in which the purpose itself originated. For if, in the 
sense described, the whole be contingent, the parts must be 
also ; nor could such contingency remain unknown, without 
defeating the ultimxite end of the manifestation. 


Thai everything iviU he found, hy necessity of nature, and as 
a relative perfection essential to the manifestation of Divine all- 
sivfficiency, to involve truth surpassing the perfect comprehension 
of the finite mind — i. e. there will he ultimate facts. 

For if it were absolutely and in every sense comprehensible, 
it could be only, to created minds, the representation of some- 
thing absolutely finite and limited. But such a thing is incon- 
ceivable. For as everything must be related, in some respect, 
to time, space, and causation, as well as to every other thing 
included in the plan, — in consequence of these relations, if in 
no other respects, it will stand connected with the infinite, and 
incomprehensible. So that wliile the Great Purpose requires 
that it should manifest something of God, its relation to the 
Great Reason will leave it involved, in some respects, in the 
necessary and the universal. 

And thus it will at once proclaim its origin and answer its 


That the manifestation he progressive ; or, that the production 
ofneio effects, or the introduction of new laws, he itself a Law of 

For were it to terminate at any given point, the proof of 
all-sufiiciency for unlimited manifestation would terminate with 
it. ^ Besides which, all-sufficiency, from its very nature, re- 
quires infinity and eternity in which to be developed, for it 
implies sufficiency for nothing less than these. But if tlie 
development of the Great Purpose, or the attainment of tiio 
Great End, be in its very nature progressive, this is only say- 
ing that the process must ever be kept open to receive the 
addition of new effects, or the superinduction of new laws. 
So that the law of uniformity itself will always be subject to, 
or bounded by, this more general law of Progression : just 
as this more general law itself will always be Subject to the 
law of the end, to which all particular lawb owe thoir existence, 


and from wliicli they derive their authority. And this again 
is only saying that the end shall not be subject to the means r 
but that the Great Purpose shall be carried into effect. 

So that, that which is commonly regarded as miraculous in- 
terj^osition may be itself a law of the manifestation — not the 
exception, but the rule — or if the exception to us wdio view 
things only on the scale of a few days, to Him who views them 
on an unlimited scale it may be the rule. 


That the manifestation^ besides being progressive, will be con- 
tinuous ; or will be progressive by being continuous — leaving no 
intervals of time, or of degree, but such as the modifying influence 
of other laics rnay require or account for. 

For were it to leave such intervals, except on such condi- 
tions, the proof of all-sufficiency for fdling them up w^ould be 
vvanting. Besides which, if all-sufficiency requires infinity, 
and eternity, in which to be developed, intervals in the mani- 
festation of time and of degree are inadmissible ; unless on 
the supposition that such intervals or pauses in the manifesta- 
tion would themselves contribute to the manifestation of all- 

It may be expected that it will be impossible to lay one's 
finger on the line which separates any one province of knowl- 
edge from that which lies next. To complain of a theory, 
therefore, that it combines and synthesizes, is to complain that 
it treats of things as they are ; or, as God has made them. 
Since it belongs to the perfection of these things, that they 
should not admit of isolation ; if they did, they would not and 
could not belong to a system of progressive and continuous 


That the Continuity of the manifestation requires that all tht 
laws and j'csidts of the past should in some sense, be carried for- 
wards ; and that all that is characteristic in the lower steps of the 
process shoidd be carried up into the higher — as far as it may 
suhservc the great end ; or unless it shoidd be superseded by some- 
thing analogous and superior in the higher, and tJie future. 

For if it w^ere not, the manifestation would be neither pro- 
gressive, nor continuous, but would be every moment begin- 


ning de novo. Everything would be isolated. After the man- 
ifestation had continued for untold ages, all the past v/ould be 
unknown and lost to the present, and to all the future. And 
the proof of all-sufficiencj, for such a continuity of manifesta- 
tion as that expressed in the proposition, would be forever 


That everything luill he found to manifest all that it is calcu- 
lated to exhibit of the Divine Nature, by developing, or working 
out its oxen nature. 

For as, according to the First law, we are to expect that 
everything, per se, and separately considered, will exhibit some- 
thing of God from mere necessity of nature — just as the 
purpose of manifesting Divine all-sufficiency brought to light 
necessarily, and independently of all intention, the Divine self- 
sufficiency, so, according to the Second law, we are apt to ex- 
pect, that as it is only by the activity of the Divine Nature, 
that that nature is made manifest, every being will be found 
to manifest all that is calculated to exhibit of God's nature, 
by properly manifesting, or, working out its own. The mere 
formation of the purpose implies the acting of the Divine 
]\Iind ; the accomplishment of that purpose, especially as it is 
a purpose of self-manifestation, clearly supposes self-activity 
also ; — the manifestation of Divine all-sulficiency evidently 
requires that that activity should be constant, unending, and 
all-comprehensive. A creation, then, devoid of regulated ac- 
tivity, could be no manifestation of an everliving and ever- 
active God. Such a creation (were its existence possible) would 
less represent him than would the absence of all external ob- 
jects ; for, as a Divine manifestation, it would essentially mis- 
represent him. For how could that which neither moved uor 
was moved — which evinced no adaptation of means to an end 
— no capacity of enjoyment — that which couM receive nothing 
from without, and which involved nothing from within — that, 
therefore, which knew nothing, did nothing, and, in effect, was 
nothing— -do anything but misrepresent Him who is AH in 
All ? The existence of such a universe is inconceivable. It 
is only by a universe of activity, then, that He can be manifest- 
ed to whose activity the universe owes its existence. 

Still more may an active niiture be expected in that order 
of creatures wliosc distinction it is to be, that not only by them, 


but to them, the manilestation will be made. For such activity 
may be looked for in thciu if only to hclj) them to understand, 
hy sympatJiy, i\\e same property in the Divine Nature. And 
still more complete would this resemblance to their Maker be, 
if certain possibilities of active excellence could be stored up 
in them, and if these could in some way be put at their dispo- 
sal, or under the power of their will ; so that, as the Divine 
activity, ad extra, has been voluntary, their activity might 
resemble his in this essential respect — that it be voluntary 

The grounds which the other laws afford for the same ex- 
pectation of activity in the intelligent creature are too obvious 
to require extended notice. For if the first provides for it by 
imparting to him a measure of Divine resemblance, and the 
second by making his manifestation of that resemblance the 
condition of his existence, the third enables him to fulfil that 
condition, by placing him in a constitution of medial relations, 
where his activity will be felt, the fourth makes such activity 
obligatory, and the fifth rew^ards it in his own well being, or 
attainment of the Great End. 


That the same property or characteristic which existed in the 
ptreceding and inferior stage of the manifestation, he superior in 
the succeeding and higher stages, or else be applied to additional 
or higher purposes, (if it be not altogether superseded by some- 
thing superior ;) or, that it he in the power of the succeeding, and 
the higher, so to render or to apply it. 

For as, by the great law of the Manifestation, everything 
is in alliance and dependence ; and as everything looks on to 
an end beyond itself, its nature, or its relations and results, 
may be expected to advance, the further it proceeds from its 
original starting-point towards the distant end, for the sake of 
which it exists. 


That as every law will have an origin or date, it will coim 
into operation on each individual subject of it, according to its 
priority of date in the great system of manifestation. 

For as, by the law of continuity with pi'ogression, every law 
has come into operation in orderly succession, that order of 


succession is itself a, law : and as laws operate uniformly Ibi 
tlie same reason that they operate at all — viz., for the pur- 
pose of manifestation — the order of their introduction at first 
into the general system, could not be dispensed Vvith in any of 
the subsequent stages or parts of the manifestation, without 
defeatins: the desis-n of their introduction at all. 


That everything will occupy a relation in the great system oj 
means, and possess a right in relation to everything else, accord- 
ing to its power of subserving the end; or, everything will hring 
in it and with it, in its own capability of subserving the end, a 
reason why all other things should be influenced by it — a reason 
for the degree in which they shoidcl be influenced — and for the 
degree in which it, in its turn, shoidd be influenced hy everything 

For if, according to the first law, everything, by necessity 
of nature, expresses some property of the Divine Nature : — if, 
according to the second, it possesses that resemblajice on the sole 
condition of manifesting it in subserviency to the Great End . 
— if, according to the third, it is medially related to every- 
thing else, that it may be able to make the manifestation : — and 
if, according to the fourth, it is bound to fulfil the Great Pur- 
pose, according to its means and relations, then everything will 
sustain an active and a passive relation, or will have a right tc 
influence everything of inferior, and a susceptibility of being 
influenced by everything of superior, subserviency to the Great 

So that (according to the all-connecting purpose) co-exist- 
ence implies co-relation, co-relation involves mutual obligation 
or subserviency, determinable as to kind and degree, in every 
instance, by the subserviency of the subjects of it to the Great 


Tliat every law subordinate in rank, though it may have been 
trior in date, be subject to each higher law of the Manifestation, 
IS it comes into operation. 

This, indeed, is a corollary from the preceding, and is only 
raying, in efiect, that in no case sliall the means be put in the 
place of the end. But if the means are to be always subordi- 


nate to the end, then, as everything is related, every inferior 
law must sustain a relation of subordination to every higher 
law of the Manifestation. 


That the whole process of manifestation he conducted uniform- 
ly^ as far as the end requires, or according to the operation of 

(By law is meant a constant relation, or an order of sequence, 
according to which, if one event occur, another will follow.) 
This, the great reason requires, for it supposes that every event 
will be, in some sense, an effect, (which is itself a law) : anc^ 
that divinely originated effect will, when traced back to its or- 
igin, be found t© express something in the Divine nature. 

The Great Purpose requires it : for it is only by the uniform- 
ity supposed that the immutability of the Divine nature, or even 
the Divine existence, could be evinced ; or indeed, that proof 
of any kind could be made possible. Farther, the Great Pur- 
pose necessarily supposes a series of effects : and that as often 
as God should will, the same effect would follow from the same 
volition ; otherwise He could not be certain that the end would 
ever be attained. Besides which, as the piM-pose of an infi- 
nitely perfect being, it is pursued on a plan, and a plan sup- 
poses the orderly arrangement and concurrent operation of 
distinct sequences of events, for the attainment of a certain 
end. It was only on the same supposition, of the operation 
of general laws, as far as the end requires, that the Mediator 
could assume the great Relation^ or undertake to discharge 
the Obligation, or calculate on the enjoyment of his exalted 
Right. Indeed, the proposition that the manifestation will be 
conducted by general laws, is involved in the statement of all 
the preceding laws ; for each of these statements is an attempt 
to define them. 


That every part of the manifestation he analogous to every 
other part, or according to a plan. 

(By analogy is here meant, generally, a similarity of rela- 
tion between things in some characteristic respects, when in 
other respects, the things are different.) 

The truth of this proposition may be inferred from the per- 


vading operation of general laws : from tlie pri7nary relation^ 
according to wliich lie who is to conduct the great process sus- 
tains his office expressly as the Logos or manifestation of God ; 
so that everything else can answer the end of manifestation 
only as it is analogous, according to, or, in some respect, re- 
sembling the Logos : from the Great Purpose ; for, if the whole 
creation is to be, in some sense, an analogue of the Divine na- 
ture, (and in no other way can it manifest God) then, every 
separate portion of it must be similarly related to every other 
part, otherwise the luhole will not resemble Him. If the first 
act be an act of manifestation, and every subsequent act be a 
counterpart to all that has gone before, then the last of any 
given series will, to some extent, correspond to the first — each 
will be a measured resemblance of all, that the whole may be 
a manifestation of God. If the whole is to be a manifesta- 
tion, it must be known; if known, classed; (for only a very 
few things could be known if each were isolated and unlike 
everything else) and if classed, possessing similarity of re- 


That the law ^ ever-enlarging manifestation he itself regulated 
hy a law determning the time for each successive stage and ad- 
dition in the great process. 

The time^ for the change in any given department of the 
Divine manifestation, will of course be determined iri a man- 
ner,^ and for a reason, diflTering with the particular nature and 
design of the department : — by each existing stage passing 
through all the combinations and changes of which it admits, 
before another begins ; or, by its existing long enough to show 
that it involves all the necessary possibiHties for answering such 
and such ends, if its continuance be permitted ; or, until it has 
sufficiently taught the Specific truth, and attained the proxi- 
mate and particular end, for which it was originated. 
_ But, whatever the particidar reason for determining the pe- 
riod of change may be, it is evident that the law of the time 
and the occasion for every change must harmonize with the 
Great End of the whole — the manifestation of the Divine All- 
sufficiency. For, were a stage of the manifestation to be re- 
called or replaced a moment before it had, in some way, demon 
strated the all-sufficiency of God for that particular stage, the 
Great Purpose would not be answered. 


From which it follows that no such change or interposition 
takes place arbitrarily ; but, as the laws of progression, and of 
the end, require it. 

And that the length of the time which may be allowed to 
elapse, after the introduction of one law or change, before the 
introduction of another, so far from growing into an objection 
against any further addition or change, becomes, in a progres- 
sive system, an ever-increasing ground for expecting it. 


That the beings to whom this Manifestation is to he made, and 
by whom it is to be understood, appreciated, and voluntarily pro- 
moted, must be constituted in harmony with these laws ; or, these 
laws of the objective universe will be found to have been establish- 
ed in prospective harmony with the designed constitution and the 
destiny of the subjective mind which is to expound and to profit 
by them. 

The truth of this proposition, if not self-evident, will receive 
abundant illustration when, in a subsequent volume, it comea 
under consideration. 


TTie First Stage of the Manifestation, 


1. Order of the Manifestation. — The great end of creation, 
then, is supposed to be the gradual manifestation of Divine 
all-sufficiency. Now, travelling back, in thought, to the eve 
of creation, " Here," we might say, " here is an infinite expanse 
of unoccupied space in which the great end is to be realized ; 
what will be the first step ? or with what will the manifesta- 
tion commence ? Li what order, and at what rate, will it pro- 
ceed ? ^ What extent of space will it occupy ? What possibil- 
ities will it involve? Of how many parts or stages will it 
consist ? Will it, or will it not, have any special scene or 
scenes of operation ? " 

That these are subjects which occupied the Divine mind — 
not, indeed, as questions which admitted of hesitation — but as 
parts of His one great purpose, is evident ; for they are actu- 
ally suggested by the fact of what He has done ; and He does 
nothing which He has not purposed to do. Now, imagining 
ourselves in the situation supposed, and taking along with us 
the laws which we have derived from the Scriptural view of 
the Nature and Purpose of God, we might have justly reasoned 
that if the Divine purpose requires that the creation be pro- 
gressive, it might be expected to determine also the order of 
the progression, or what perfection of the Deity shall be first 
displayed, as well as the act or means by which the display 
shall be made. In tlie nature of the case, there is nothing, ah 
extra, to determine either with what the manifestation shall 
begin, or how it shall proceed. Even if there were, inasmuch 


as the great object of creation is the manifestation of the Divine 
perfections, the order of the process must be reguhited by the 
order prescribed by the object of the Divine purpose -7- the 
means must be made subservient to the end. But there is 
nothing ah extra., so that there is a necessity as well as a rea- 
son, why the order of the manifestation should take the order 
best adapted for the attainment of the Divine purpose, and 
prescribed by it. 

Whether there is any order, then, in the Divine purpose, 
and, if so, what that order is, are among tlie very things to be 
manifested. Now, according to the constitution of the human 
mind, we are led to the conclusion that such order exists ; and 
that the earliest display of the Divine Nature will be that of 
a perfection fundamental to all the rest, namely, Power. It 
may here be proper to observe, though it is only, in effect, tlie 
repetition of a remark in our first Part, that by the Divine 
perfections we do not understand. " a congeries of separate and 
separable attributes, like the members of an organized body," 
one of which may be exercised at one time and another at 
another ; but the same one unitive perfection, exhibiting itself 
in a variety of phases and aspects with a view to entire mani- 
festation. And according to the constitution of our minds, 
there is a certain order in which these different aspects may 
be viewed ; by which we gain sight of an additional character- 
istic or perfection at each view ; and are prepared by each 
foregoing perfection for the contemplation of each succeeding 

Now the first and the only simple attribute of whose mani- 
festation we can conceive is that of Power. The display of 
every other attribute supposes the co-existence and manifest 
co-operation of this in order to its display. But the exercise 
of this does not necessarily suppose the manifest co-oj)eration 
of any other. For although, in the case of an infinitely per- 
fect Being, we can never conceive of power exercised apart 
from intelligence, we can conceive (and the case before us is 
one in which we are conscious of the conception) of an act of 
combined intelligence and power, 1 of which, while the power 
should be so self-evident and awful as suddenly to fill us with 

' Indeed, if this were the place, it might be shown that even the infer- 
ence of design, is subsequent to the observation of the adjustments and 
adaptations of nature, as that again must necessarily be subsequent to 
the production of tlic tilings adjusted. 


amazeme;.!, the intelligence which it involved, owing to V^ 
very depth, should be completely hidden from our view, air.d 
require the lapse of ages for its development. In this case we 
should contemplate power in its simplest form — that of causa- 
tion ; — a mighty moral cause producing a stupendous elfect.i 

2. Antiquity of the Earth. — If, according to our first law, 
every divinely-originated event is a result' of which the supreme 
and ultimate reason is in the Divine Nature, it might have been 
expected that the order of the Divine perfections, or else the 
nature of the Divine Purpose, would determine the order of 
the creative process, and that the opening act would be %, dis- 
play of power. But if, by one law, we arrive at the conclu- 
sion that the first act of manifestation will be a display of 
power, the law of progression suggests that that display will 
be made by an act to which we can conceive no act antece- 
dent; one which is not merely introductory to every other, 
but preparatory to the whole — first in the order of nature as 
well as of time. 

Now revelation and science harmonize with reason, and are 
decisive on the subject that, as far as the visible universe is 
concerned, the formation of its material preceded the forma- 
tion of everything else. Turning first to the inspired record 
to ascertain the origin of things as they now are, we learn, of 
our earrii, that it assumed its present state a few thousands of 
years ago, in consequence of a creative process, or of a series 
of creative acts concluding with the creation of man, which 
extended through a period of six ordinary or natural days. 
Possessed of this fact respecting the date of man's introduc- 
tion on the earth, we proceed to examine the globe itself. And 
here we find that the mere shell of the earth takes us back 
through an unknown series of ages, in which creation appears 
to have followed creation at the distance of vast intervals be- 

But though in the progress of our inquiries we soon find 
that we have cleared the bounds of historic time, and are mov- 

^ I believe that we derive the idea of causation — vohmtaty or efficient 
causation — from consciousness: that besides the constant connection 
which we obsei-ve between pliysical causes and eifects, we are conscious 
of exerting a power in the et]^■ccts which we ourselves produce on matter 
subject to us ; that this consciousness awakens the idea of voluntary 
causation ; and that tliis idea leads to the belief in the existence of a 
First cause. But the psyc-hological views to which the discussion of tliis 
question would lead, belong to another treatise. 


ing far back among the periods of an unmeasured and immea- 
surable antiquity, the geologist can demonstrate that the crust 
of the earth has a natural history. That he cannot determine 
the chronology of its successive strata is quite immaterial. We 
only ask him to prove the order of their position from the 
newest deposit to the lowest step of the series ; and this he can 
do. For nature itself — by a force calculable only by the 
God of nature — lifting up in places the whole of the stupen- 
dous series in a slanting, ladder-like, direction to the surface, 
has revealed to him the order in which they were originally 
laid, and iuvites him to descend step by step to its awful found- 

Let us descend with him, and traverse an ideal section of a 
portion of the earth's crust. Quitting the living surface of the 
green earth, and entering on our downward path, our first 
step may take us below the dust of Adam, and beyond the 
limits of recorded time. From the moment we leave the mere 
surface-soil, and touch even the nearest of the tertiary beds, all 
traces of human rem.ains disappear, so that let our grave be 
as shallow as it may in even the latest stratified bed, we have 
to make it in the dust of a departed world. Formation now 
follows formation, composed chiefly of sand, and clay, and lime, 
and presenting a thickness of more than a thousand feet each. 
#lS we descend through these, one of the most sublime fictions 
of mythology becomes sober truth, for at our every step an 
•age flies past. We find ourselves on a road where the lapse 
of duration is marked — not by the succession of seasons and 
©f years, — but by the slow excavation, by water, of deep val- 
leys in rock marble ; by the return of a continent to the bosom 
of an ocean in which ages before it had been slowly formed ; 
or by the departure of one world and the formation of another. 
And, accordingly, if our first step took us below the line which 
is consecrated by human dust, we have to take but a few steps 
more, before we begin to find that the fossil remains of all 
those forms of animal life with which we are most familiar, 
are diminishing, and that their places are gradually supplied 
by strange and yet stranger forms ; till, in the last fossiliferous 
formation of this division, traces of existing species become 
extremely rare, and extinct species everywhere predominate. 

The secondary rocks receive us as into a new fossiliferous 
world, or into a new series of worlds. Taking the chalk form- 
ation as the first member of this series, we find a stratification 
upwards of a thousand feet thick. Who shall compute the 


tracts of time necessary for its slow sedimentary deposition ! 
So vast was it, and so widely different were its physical condi- 
tions from those which followed, that scarcely a trace of animal 
species still living is to be found in it. Crowded as it is with 
conchological remains, for example not more than a shell or 
two of all the seven thousand existing species are discover- 
able. Types of organic life, before unknown, arrest our atten- 
tion, and prepare us for still more surprising forms. Descend- 
ing to the system next in order — the oolitic — with its many 
subdivisions, and its tliickness of about half a mile, we recog- 
nise new proofs of the dateless antiquity of the earth. For, 
enormous as this bed is, it was obviously formed by deposition 
from sea and river water. And so gradual and tranquil was 
the operation, that, in some places, the organic remains of the 
successive strata are arranged with a shelf-like regularity, re- 
minding us of the well-ordered cabinet of the naturalist. Here, 
too, the last trace of animal species still living, has vanished. 
Even this link is gone. We have reached a point when the 
earth was in the possession of the gigantic forms of Saurian 
reptiles, — monsters more appalling than the poet's fancy ever 
feigned ; and these are their catacombs. Descending through 
the later red sandstone and saliferous marls of two thousand 
feet in thickness, and which exhibit, in 'their very variegated 
strata, a succession of numerous physical changes, our subte» 
ranean path brings us to the carboniferous system, or coal for- 
mations. These coal strata, many thousands of feet thick,-, 
consist entirely of the spoils of successive ancient vegetable 
worlds. But in the rank jungles and luxuriant wildernesses 
wliich are here accumulated and compressed, we recognise no 
plant of any existing species. Nor is there a single convincing 
indication that these primeval forests ever echoed to the voice 
of birds. But between these strata, beds of limestone of enor- 
mous thickness are interposed ; each proclaiming the prolonged 
existence and final extinction of a creation. For these lime- 
stone beds are not so much the charnel-houses of fossil organ- 
isms, as the remains of the organisms themselves.i 

The mountain masses of stone which now surround ug, ex- 
tending for miles in length and breadth, were once sentient 

' See a memoir " On some of the Microscopical Objects found in the 
Mud of the Levant, and other deposits : with Remarks on the Mode ot 
Formation of Calcareous and Infusorial Siliceous Rocks." By W. C, 

Williamson, Ks([. 


existences — testaceous and coralline, — living at the bottoin 
of ancient seas and lakes. How countless the ages necessary 
for their accumulation ; when the formation of only a few inches 
of the strata required the life and death of many generations. 
Here, the mind is not merely carried back through immeasur- 
able periods, but, while standing amidst the petrified remains 
of this succession of primeval forests and extinct races of ani- 
mals piled up into sepulchral mountains, we seem to be encom- 
passed by the thickest shadow of the valley of death. 

On quitting these stupendous monuments of death, we leave 
behind us the last vestige of land-jDlants, and pass down to the 
old red sandstone. Here, too, we have passed below the last 
trace of reptile life. The speaking foot-prints impressed on 
the carboniferous strata, are absent here. The geological char- 
acter of this vast formation, again, tells of ages innumerable. 
For, though many a thousand feet in depth, it is obviously 
derived from tlie materials of more ancient rocks, fractured, 
decomposed, and slowly deposited in water. The gradual and' 
quiet nature of the process, and therefore its immense dura- 
tion, are evident from the numerous " platforms of death," i 
which mark its formation, each crowded with organic struct- 
ures which lived and died where they now are seen; and 
which, consequently, must have perished by some destructive 
agency, too sudden to allow of their dispersion, and yet so 
subtle and quiet as to leave the place of their habitation un- 

Immeasurably far behind us as we have already left the 
fair face of the extant creation, while travelling into the night 
of ancient time, w^e yet feel, as we stand on the threshold of 
the next, or Silurian, system, and look down towards '* the 
foundations of the earth," that we are not half way on our 
course. Here, on surveying the fossil structures, we are first 
struck with the total change in the petrified inhabitants of the 
sea, as compared with what we found in the mountain lime- 
stone ; implying the lapse of long periods of time, during the 
formation of the intervening old red sandstone which we have 
just left. But still rfiore are we impressed with the lapse of 
duration, while descending the long succession of strata, of 
which this primary fossiliferous formation is composed, when 
we think of their slow derivation from the more ancient rocks ; 

^ Mr. Hugh Miller's " Old Red Sandstone," (1841,) p. 234; a work of 
peculiar interest. 


of their oft repeated elevation and depression; of the long 
periods of repose, during which hundreds of animal species ran 
through their cycle of generations, and became extinct ; and 
of the continuance of this stratifying process, until these thin 
beds had acquired, by union, the immense thickness of a mile 
and a half. Next below this, we reach the Cambrian system, 
of almost equal thickness, and formed by the same slow process. 
Here the gradual decrease of animal remains admonishes us 
that even the vast and dreary empire of death has its limits, 
and that we are now in its outskirts. But there is a solitude 
greater than that of the boundless desert, and a dreariness 
more impressive than that which reigns in a world entombed. 
On leaving the slate-rocks of the Cambrian and Cumbrian 
formations, we find that the worlds of organic remains are past, 
and that we have reached a region older than death, because 
-jlder than life itself. Here, at leastj if life ever existed, 
all trace of it is obliterated by the fusing power of the heat 
below. But we have not even yet reached a resting-place. 
Passing down through the beds of mica schist, many thou- 
sand feet in depth, to the great gneiss formation, we find 
that we have reached the limits of stratification itself. The 
granitic masses below, of a depth which man can never ex- 
plore, are not only crystallized themselves, but the igneous 
power acting through them, has partially crystallized the 
rocks above. Not only life, but the conditions of life, are 
here at an end. 

Now, is it possible for us to look from our ideal position, 
backwards and upwards to the ten miles height — supposing 
the strata to be piled regularly — from which we have descend- 
ed, without feeling that we have reached a point of immeasur- 
able remoteness in terrestrial antiquity ? Can we think of the 
thin soil of man's few thousand years, in contrast with the suc- 
cession of worlds we have passed through ; of the slow form a 
tion of each of these worlds on worlds, by the disintegration 
of more ancient materials and their subsidence in water ; of 
the leaf-like thinness of a great proportion of the strata; of 
the consequent flow of time necessary to^tbrm only a few per- 
pendicular inches of all these miles ; or of the long periods 
of alternate elevation and depression, action and repose, which 
mark their formation, without acknowledging that the days 
and years of geology are ages and cycles of ages ! Let us 
conceive, if we can, that the atoms of one of these strata have 
formed the sands of an hour-glass, and that each graui count- 


ed a moment, and we may then- make some aj^proximation to 
the past periods of geology ; periods in the computation of 
vvliicli the longest human dynasty, and even the date of the 
pyramids, would form only an insignificant fraction. Or, re- 
membering that only two or three species of animals have, 
so far as we know, died out during the sixty or seventy cen- 
turies of man's historic existence upon earth, can we think of 
the thousands, * not of generations, but of species, of races, 
which we have passed in our downward track, and which have 
all run through their ages of existence and ceased ; of the re- 
currence of this change again and again, even in the same 
strata ; and of the many times over these strata must be re- 
peated in order to equal the vast sum of the entire series, 
without feeling that we are standing, in idea, on ground so im- 
measurably far back in the night of time, as to fill the mind with 
awe ? " How dreadful is this place !" Here, at as incalculable 
a secular distance, probably, from the first creation of organic 
life, as that is from the last creation — here, silence once 
reigned : the only sound which occasionally broke the intense 
stillness being the voice of subterranean thunder ; the only 
motion (not felt* for there was none to feel it) an earthquake ; 
the only phenomenon, a molten sea, shot up from the fiery 
gulph below, to form the mighty framework of some future 
continent. And still that ancient silence seems to impose its 
quelling influence, and to allow in its presence the activity of 
nothing but thought. And that thought — what direction 
more natural for it to take than to plunge still farther back into 
the dark abyss of departed time, till it has reached a First, or 
Efficient Cause ? 

3. The earth not eternal. — But, although we seem to be 
thus conducted almost into the frontiers of eternity, the moment 
we glance our eye in that direction, all the cycles of geology 
dwindle to a point. In the presence of Him, with whom a 
thousand years are as one day, we recover ourselves to per- 
ceive that these cycles are immense only in relation to our- 
selves. Accordingly, every step of our downward path has 
been suggestive of a beginning ; for everything speaks of deri- 
vation. Each rock, for example, points downwards to its 
source. We can trace the lineal extraction of each successive 
stratum. And even noAv, having reached the crypt of nature, 
and standing at the bases of her gneissic columns, should the 
question be asked, — "Whence their derivation?" geology 
points to the older granitic masses, of whose waler-worn crys- 


talline particles they are evidently composed. " But whence 
that granite ?" Mineralogy shows that it is composed of three 
very distinct mineral substances. Crystallography demonstrates, 
next, by cleavage, or mechanical division, that each of these 
three substances is compounded of atoms or molecules inex- 
pressibly minute, and each of these again of others still more 
minute, and so on to an indefinite extent ; yet that each of 
these possesses a determinate geometrical figure, and combines 
in fixed and definite proportions. Chemical analysis now takes 
up the process of reduction, and shows — taking the carbonate 
of lime, for example — that each of these integrant molecules 
is divisible into two compound substances. And, still farther, 
it shows that even each of these is a compound body. But 
here the process of decomposition ends. The elementary 
molecules thus obtained — of calcium, carbon, and oxygen, — 
are three of the fifty-four or fifty-five substances which, to us, 
are indivisible and ultimate ; and which, as it has been beauti- 
fully expressed by Daubeny, deserve to be regarded as the 
alphabet, composing the great volume which records the 
wisdom and goodness of the Creator.! 

The ancient atheistic theory of b. fortuitPas concourse of 
atoms is thus exploded ; since it is demonstrable, as we have 
seen, that all crystalline mineral substances exist only under 
fixed geometrical forms, and unite only in unchangeably definite 
proportions. Fortuity has no existence here. We are in the 
region of law ; and law implies a lawgiver. 

Here, too, the sceptical theory which would substitute an 
eternal nature for an eternal God of nature, stands exposed 
and condemned. To say nothing of the logical absurdity 
which the theory involves, in professing to account for the ex- 
istence of a vast magazine of exquisite contrivances without 
a contriver ; we have only to recall the fact, that in our subter- 
ranean descent we passed the actual beginning of species after 
species, down to a state of the globe in which life was impossi- 
ble. Thus Nature herself, disclaiming the honor thrust upon 
her at the expense of her Maker, emphatically declares, " It 
is not in me." The compounded state of the inorganic masses, 
down to the crystalline granite, joins also in affirming the same 
truth ; and it is with the argument from inorganic matter that 
we have, at present, to do. Now, it cannot be affirmed that 
matter has always existed in a compounded state ; for, unless 

1 Sec Dr. Bucklantrrf Bridgewater Treatise, vol. i., c. xxiii. 


it could be proved that its compound is its necessary state, it 
would follow that, at some period or other in past duration, it 
must have been in a simple state. But chemical analysis de- 
Qonstrates that a compounded state is not a necessary condition 
)f its existence ; for it can be analyzed and exhibited in its 
elements. From which it follows, either that there was a 
period when matter existed in its uncompounded simple ele- 
ments — and then the questions arise, whence the existence of 
these mysterious substances ? and whence the multiplied laws 
by which they began to combine in so varied, definite, and 
complex a manner, that, to bring one of them to light, immor- 
talizes the discoverer for his sagacity and wisdom ? or else, 
that matter has never existed otherwise than in a compounded 
state, and has thus always confessed itself a made, originated 

Indeed, the non-eternity of the planetary system, or the fact 
that the present order of things had a commencement, might 
be argued from the admitted existence of a resisting medium 
in space. The argument is mathematical, and may be regarded 
as the continuous summation of infinitely small quantities. For, 
only admit that planetary motion encounters resistance ; and 
though it be so small as to be inappreciable within a thousand 
millions of years, still, if it had been from eternity, the motion 
resisted must have come to an end. Now, the motion of Encke'a 
comet, as well as that of the comet discovered by M. Biela 
renders the existence of such a medium almost certain. True, 
its effect even on the wisp-like vapor of a comet may be so 
small as to require between twenty and thirty thousand years 
to reduce the cometary motion to one-half its present value. 
To reduce the present velocity of Jupiter by one-half might 
require a period of four hundred and ninety millions of years. 
Still, as that reduction has not taken place, the planet cannot 
have existed from eternity. Its motion must have had a be- 
ginning. The chronometer of the heavens must have been 
wound up within a limited time, for it has not yet run down. 

The object of the nebular hypothesis of Laplace — which 
supposes the earth, and the system to which it belongs, to have 
arisen from the gradual condensation of a diffused, vaporous, 
nebula — professes to take us back to a beginning, but only a 
beginning of existing motions. Its immediate design was merely 
to suggest analogically the possible origin of the motions of the 
solar system. It says nothing whatever — it can say nothing 
--«^n disproof of the Divine origination of matter. It may 
'' ' "' " 7 - ' ' 


trace back tlie mass to an anterior state, which " was itself 
preceded by other states, in which the nebulous matter was 
more and more diffuse. And in this manner we arrive," says 
Laplace, " at a nebulosity so diffuse, that its existence could 
scarcely be suspected. Such is, in fact, the first state of the 
nebulae, which Herschel carefully observed by means of his 
powerful telescopes." Superior telescopic power, indeed, has 
recently thrown discredit on the hypothesis, by resolving many 
of the supposed nebulae into clusters of stars ; a fact suggest- 
ing the probability tnat a still superior telescopic power would 
resolve other nebulous appearances and bring new ones to 
light ; and so on without end. So on at least, until we possess 
that which we have not at present, nor are likely to obtain, a 
telescope — an instrument for viewing the end or limit. 

But even allowing the hypothesis to become a demonstra- 
tion, it has only removed the origination of matter to an epoch 
farther back in past duration. Having professedly conducted 
us back to its earliest nebulous condition, the hypothesis leaves 
us. This is the ultimatum of physical science. Respecting 
the anterior, the primitive, state of matter, we are still left in 
ignorance. Transferring our inquiries into those depths of 
past time to which the hypothesis would conduct us, we still 
have to inquire, whence came that nebula ? Why is it where 
it is ? Whence the cause of its condensation, separation, col- 
location, and motions ? — processes which, under the circum- 
stances, no laws we are acquainted with are sufficient to ex- 
plam. Having traced the history of the earth back through 
numerous changes to its supposed nebulous state, we ask, with 
the confidence that we are so much the nearer to the beginning, 
what was the primary change — the fii'st effect ? The very 
fact, that our examination has disclosed to us the proximate 
beginnings of previous states of the earth, suggests the idea of 
a primary beginnin'g, and prepares us^ to hear of it. 

We do not expect, be it remarked, that science will ever le 
able to conduct us knowingly to such a commencement.! Even 
if permitted to gaze on the primordial elements of things, science 
could not of itself be certain of the fact. If, while the astron- 
omer was searching the depths of space with his instruments, 
a nebulous body were to be strictly originated under his gaze, 
his science could not assure him that the body has come wan- 

' See Dr. Whewell's excellent Treatise qu the Judications of the Crea- 
tor, pp. 150— 171. 


dering thither from some distant quarter, where it had existed 
under other conditions. The fact that it must sometime have 
had a beginning, might be instinctively felt by liim as a truth 
of reason ; but, in the nature of things, the fact could be made 
known to him only as an authoritative announcement, and that 
announcement could come to him only from another and a 
iiigher. source — from the Divine Originator himself All that 
\YQ look for at the hands of science is, to admit the analogical 
evidence which the natural history of the earth affords of a 
true and real beginning ; and to satisfy the intellectual neces- 
sitj^, the imperative requirements, of reason, by admitting that 
such a commencement there must have been preparatory to 
the due reception of the sublime and inspired affirmation. In 
the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 

^ 4. From a careful consideration of the subject, my full con- 
viction is, that the verse just quoted was placed by the hand 
of Inspiration at the queuing of the Bible as a distinct and in- 
dependent sentence ; that it was the Divine intention to affirm 
by it, that the material universe was primarily originated by 
God from elements not previously existing ; and that this ori- 
ginating act was quite distinct from the acts included in the 
six natural days of the Adamic creation.! 

5. Before leaving this part of the subject, it may be proper 
to notice two objections to the great antiquity of the earth, 
although they are not of a directly Biblical nature. The first 
relates to ih.^ geological evidence of that antiquity, and may 
be expressed thus : Why might not God have created the 
crust of the earth just as it is, with all its numberless stratifi- 
cations and diversified formations, complete ? And the anal- 
ogy for such an exercise of creative power is supposed to 
be found in the creation of Adam, not as an infant, but an 
adult ; and in the production of the full-sized trees of Eden. 
To which the reply is direct : the maturity of the first man, and 
of the objects around him, could not deceive him by implying 
that they had slowly grown to that state. His first knowledge 
was the knowledge of the contrary. He lived, partly, in order 
to proclaim the fact of his creation. And, could his own body, 
or any of the objects created at the same time, have been sub • 
jected to a physiological examination, they would no doubt 
iuive been found to indicate their miraculous production in 
their very destitution of all the traces of an early growth ; 

* Scu Nolo B 


whereas the shell of the earth is a crowded storehouse of evi- 
dence of its gradual formation. So that the question, express- 
ed in other language, amounts to this : Might not the God of 
infinite truth have enclosed in the earth, at its creation, evi- 
dence of its having existed ages before its actual production ? 
Of course, the Objector would disavow such a sentiment. But 
such appears to be the real import of the objection ; and, as 
such, it involves its own refutation. 

6. The second relates to the long period during which the 
earth was, according to geological disclosures, comparatively 
unoccupied, and amounts to this : Is it likely that so long a 
period would have been allowed by the Almighty to elapse, 
after the creation of the earth, before the production of the hu- 
man race ? Now, if this be said from a regard to the relative 
importance of man, as if all created time were lost till he ap- 
peared, it is sufficient to reply, that he has still an eternity 
before him ; and that had he been cJi^ted a myriad of ages 
earlier than he was, there would yet have been an eternity 
behind him. If it be said, in the spirit of homage to the Cre- 
ator, it should be remembered that to Him " who inhabiteth 
eternity," there can be neither early nor late ; that to Him " a 
thousand years are as one day, and one day as a thousand years." 
Besides which, the pre- Adamite antiquity of the earth is not, 
as the objection seems to imply, useless to man. On the con- 
trary, he is indebted to the processes which were then taking 
place, for all the principal means of his material civilization. 
And, then, as a creature in whose mind ideas succeed each 
other, how eminently calculated is the mere attempt of open- 
ing his imagination to let a procession of ten thousand ages 
pass through, or of the events of such a period, to subserve 
his highest interests, by elevating his conceptions of the Being 
who has superintended the whole. Other beneficial results 
might easily be specified. And unless the objector knew all 
the ends which were answered by the long periods of the 
earth's existence, prior to the Creation of man ; and all which 
will be derived from it in the eternity to come, he is not in a 
situation to pronounce on the subject. For aught he knows, a 
disclosure of all those ends would convert his present scepti- 
cism respecting the antiquity of the earth, into a feeling of 
wonder that the periods of geology had not been of longer du- 
ration than they were. 



Tlie First Effect — Assuming, on the grounds stated, then, 
the great antiquity of the earth, let us go back in thought to 
that " beginning " when God created the material universe. 
Up to the 'moment of its origination there had been only one 
substance ; for " God is a Spirit." Not more amazing, there- 
fore, as a display of power, would the origination of a third 
substance now be, differing from the two already existing as 
much as these two differ from each other, than was the origina- 
tion of matter as the opening act of the visible creation. Here, 
according to our first law, was an effect of which the supreme 
and ultimate reason must he in the Divine Nature. 

1. It is by no means important for us to inquire, whether 
or not the Being who spake this immensity of matter into ex- 
istence and activity, separated it from the first into masses, and 
distributed those masses into the places and proportions and 
harmonious relations which prevail at present ; or, whether he 
merely produced a vast central and aggregate chaos, as the 
material from which stars and systems should subsequently 
issue, by a series of distinct creative acts. If it should appear 
that the first was the fact, it might indeed be considered that 
the collocation and adjustment of the celestial mechanism, by 
furnishing a grand display of the knowledge of God, impeached 
our general proposition that the primary act of creation was 
chiefly a manifestation of power. But to this it would be suf- 
ficient to reply, that the knowledge which such a distribution 
of matter would have displayed from the first, would only show 
that the power was intelligent and not a blind fate ; that it was 
a knowledge distinct from i\\e wisdom displayed in the second 
or organic stage of creation ; ^ that itr would not the less, but 
the more, illustrate the power which effected it — " knowl- 
edge," in this instance, would be " power ; " that we do not 
claim for the first stage of the manifestation a display of power 
exclusively, since every act of an infinitely perfect Being must 
virtually include the efi'ect of every attribute of which that per- 
fection consists ; that such a virtual inclusion of wisdom and 
goodness in power, as well as of power in wisdom and goodness, 
is essential to that continuity of divine manifestation which it 
is our aim to illustrate ; but that we claim for it the exhibition 
of power principally and supremely ; and that God himself 'mi 

' See Note C. 


often fo -ind to appeal to the work of creation as his own chosen 
proof of power. 

2. According to the nebular hypothesis, however, such a 
distribution of matter was not simultaneous with its origina- 
tion. Now, whatever may be the merits of this Hypothesis in 
relation to the whole universe of matter, it is certain that tlie 
shape of our own planet — that of an oblate spheroid, or a 
sphere flattened at the poles — is precisely that which a fluid 
body would assume by rotation about an axis. And, on exam- 
ining the constitution of the primary rocks, it is, as we have 
seen, found to be the result of a state of fusion. They are all 
crystallized ; and many of the series above them are found to 
be almost as crystalline in their texture. 

3. Now, let us suppose that we had been admitted, not only 
to contemplate the first act of the Divine manifestation, but to 
study that display in the whole of this first stage, distinguished 
as it must have been by elemental conflicts and volcanic ex- 
plosions beyond all human conception, in what other light could 
we have regarded the phenomena than as signs or expressions 
of unknown power ? We are not now to speak of the extent 
of the power to be inferred from the supposed scene — whether 
it be limited or unlimited. This view belongs to a subsequent 
part of the subject. At present we have to do only with the 
origination of matter and its planetary formation, as an expres- 
sion of power. Every property, indeed, which was now brought 
to light, and every idea which can be supposed to have been 
truly suggested and represented, expressed a spiritual corres- 
pondence in the Divine Creator. Thus, the bare existence of 
the dependent substance, matter, pre-supposed the existence 
of the Independent and Infinite Substance. The laws which 
the planetary motions exhibited were His laws ; and proclaim- 
ed him to be " the God of order." For, no being can impart 
that which he does not, in some sense, possess. But even the 
origination of the substance, and the prescription and main- 
tenance of the laws, were preeminently demonstrations of 
power. Here was the first objective effect — the origination 
of matter ; irresistibly awakening the conviction of the First 
Cause : the solemn utterance of the Deity on the subject of 
causation. Here was the universe of matter in motion, awa- 
kening the idea of force ; it was the great practical lesson of the 
Deity on dynamics — the doctrine of force producing motion. 
Every property of matter, every process by which its proper- 
ties were developed, every law which regulated these pro- 


cesses, every elementary particle and every revolving planet, 
was lecturing on the power which imparted that force. Nor 
could we have looked on the geological, planetary, and astral 
motions — the systems of motion — the complicated and bound- 
less whirl of motion, in its multitude, variety, velocity and 
extent, and have referred the whole to its origin and support, 
without feeling the deep emphasis of the declaration, " Power 
belongeth unto God." 


The past hrought forward. — One of our principles requires 
that the laws and results of the past be carried forwards ; and 
that all that is characteristic in the lower steps of the process 
be carried up into the higher as far as it may subserve the 
ultimate end ; or unless it be superseded by something analo- 
gous and superior in the higher and the future. (As we are 
only, at present, in the first stage of creation, it is obvious that 
our means of illustrating this law can be derived from nothing 
antecedent ; but are restricted to the earlier operations of this 
: pining stage, as related to its later periods.) 

Thus the law o^ attraction had collected matter around a 
centre. But it knows nothing of selection ; holding the most 
heterogeneous masses together by the one common bond of 
gravitation. But having brought the particles of which the 
masses are composed so near together, another law — that of 
chemical affinity — appears. Two of the leading principles of 
chemical affinity are, that it is elective — passing by one par- 
ticle to coalesce with another ; and definite or constant^ — each 
element uniting only with a certain fixed proportion of the 
element elected. 

And, then, as chemical affinity is an advance on attraction, 
crystallization is an advance on chemical affinity ; and to this 
we are indebted for the granitic foundations of the earth, and 
all the ten thousand symmetrical forms which matter assumes. 
The first of these laws does not more prepare the way for 
the second, than the second for the third. For " bodies never 
crystaUize but when their elements combine chemically ; and 
solid bodies which combine, when they do it most completely 
and exactly, also rrystallize." ^ The matter which was merely 

* Professor AYhcwell's Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, vol. i 
p. 353. 


held together by attraction — is sorted by chemical affinity — 
and, in crystallization, according to Berzelius,i it assumes its 
definite forms by a presupposed effort of the particles, not 
simply to unite, but to unite at certain points. But when the 
perfect crystal is formed, be it remarked, no law is repealed. 
It is no less in the all-gi'asping hand of attraction than it was 
at fii'st. 


Progression. — One of our principles is, that the production 
of new effects, or the introduction of new laws, will be itself a 
law of the manifestation ; in other words, that the system will 
be progressive. Accordingly, when we reach the second stage 
af the process, we shall be able to show its advance as com- 
pared with the first. But as we are now merely entering on 
that first stage, we have nothing prior with which to compare 
it. We can only regard inorganic matter as something, an 
existence ; and, as such, an advance on nothing, or on non- 
existence. In this light, we have simply to speak, first, of its 
constitution. But if, then, taking our stand at a jDcriod to- 
wards the close of tliis stage, we look back on the succession 
of changes which the material system is supposed to exhibit ; 
we may speak also oi progression in relation to these changes. 

1. Over the physical constitution of every planet except our 
own, there hangs a deep obscurity. We may be able to weigh 
them, and to measure their volumes ; but this is nearly the 
sum of our knowledge concerning them. Here, however, we 
find ourselves in contact with matter ; it courts and compels 
our attention. To the observant mind the earth is a vast 
laboratory, in which the great processes of chemistry are in 
constant operation. Accordingly, the researches of science 
have brought to light between fifty and sixty forms or modifi- 
cations of matter. Each of these, having hitherto resisted all 
endeavors to resolve them into any others, is termed a simple 
or undecompounded body. It is deemed probable that these 
bodies exist ultimately as atoms or indivisible particles. And 
easy as it may be to change, in any given instance, their state 
and appearance, they are, as far as we know, indestructible. 

2. The properties of matter have been divided into the 
primaiy and secondary. The first, including extension, impen- 

* Essay on the Theory of Chemical Properties, p. 1 13. 


etrability, and inertia, are such as belong to all kinds of mat- 
ter, and without which we cannot conceive of its existence. 
The second, are those bj which one kind of matter is distin- 
guished from another. To this class belong light, heat, elec- 
tricity, magnetism, molecular attraction, crystallization, and 

3. These properties are developed, and operate according 
to laws. Viewed as merely existent, or in relation to space, 
matter presupposes a cause ; viewed in its fixed relations, and 
its uniform successions, it exhibits laws, and therefore presup- 
poses a lawgiver also. Thus, the most general law, with 
wliich we are at present acquainted, in the chemistry of Na- 
ture, is, that all the elementary bodies of which we have 
spoken, besides exhibiting what may be called preferences, 
enter into combination with each other, not arbitrarily, but 
only in fixed and definite proportions, by weight. So that 
luiving discovered a new elementary substance, and ascertain- 
ed its chemical properties, we can foretel all the proportions in 
which it can enter into combination with all the others. Into 
some of these combinations, it may have never yet entered. 
But our knowledge of the law respecting it enables us to fore- 
see what the Author of Nature has ordained that it shall do 
in such circumstances. The law governs our anticipations. 
" This use of the word law, has relation to us as understand- 
ing, rather than to the materials of which the universe consists 
as obeying, certain rules." Our mind discovers the mind of 
the Creator on the subject, even before the thing created has 
been made, in the particular case, to illustrate His will. And 
thus we obtain a view of the constitution of matter which 
effectually destroys the idea of its eternal and self-existent 
nature, " by giving to each of its atoms the essential characters, 
at once, of a manufactured article, and a subordinate agent J^^ 

4. The laws which regulate the changes and combinations 
of matter are brought to light by those changes themselves ; 
such as solution, evaporation, rarefaction, decomposition, and 
combustion. The combinations of which the elementary sub- 
stances are susceptible are endless. The principal forms, in- 
deed, in which matter is found at the surface of the globe, are, 
the solid, the liquid, and the gaseous. Into the composition of 
the solid earth there enter but eight or ten of the elementary 
substances in any large quantities. The water, which covers 

' Sir J. Herachel on the Study of Nat. Phil., §§ 27, 28. 


about tliree-fcurtQS of the earth, is made up cliiefly of two of 
these substances. And the atmosphere, which envelops both 
the earth and the water, is composed principally of two also. 
Indeed, there are grounds to beheve that all inorganic sub- 
stances unite bj what is called the binary principle of combin- 
ation ; so that, however numerous the inorganic elements in 
union, in any instance, may be, they will be found to exhibit 
a progressive combination of pairs of substances, si^nple and 
compound. But, we repeat, the combinations of which the 
fifty or sixty elementary bodies admit, are inconceivable ; like 
the letters of the alphabet, whose union in words and senten- 
ces admit of a diversity which no speaking or writing can ever 
exhaust. In the great laboratories of Nature, every descrip- 
tion of chemical process is doubtless in activity, by v/hich 
compounds of every kind are continually forming. By far 
the greater part of the rocky crust of the globe is made up of 
the fragments and powder of an incalculable variety of sub- 
stances, mingled together in all degrees of proportion, and in 
such a manner as to defy separation. Nor can it be doubted 
that this round of change has been going on from the begin- 

6. This brings us to remark, secondly, on ih2ii progr^ession in 
the state of the primitive earth, indicated by its mineral and 
chemical changes. If, for the sake of illustration, we adopt 
the nebular hypothesis, we shall admit that there was a time 
when the original planetary material was yet circulating in 
diffused and undetached masses around the sun. Then came 
the period when the planets, aggregating into separate bodies, 
occupied their respective orbits, and received their appropriate 
imjDulses ; impulses involving j^henomena so traceable to the 
hand of the Creator, that Laplace has said, respecting a cer- 
tain class of them, " It is infinity to unity that this is not the 
effect of chance." 1 

7. Or if, dispensing with the nebular hypothesis, we sup- 
pose the planetary bodies to have existed in their assigned 
orbits from the first, our imagination will yet take us back to 
the dateless period when the earth was passing from its vapor- 
ous form to that of incipient consolidation. The phenomena 
exhibited by certain comets — especially by that of 1744, and 
by Halley's comet, on its last appearance in 1835 — have been 
supposed to justify the inference, that they are passing through 

' Syst., vol. ii. p. 3(56. 


a rapid sncocssioii oi' formalivc processes. The sccnlar cool- 
ing down of the insufferably high temperature of the earth 
was followed by the formation of its shell, or the crystalliza- 
tion of its rocks ; and this again by their decomposition by 
mechanical and chemical means. Then came the period when, 
as the process of consolidation went on, the volcanic forces 
began the transformation of the older strata, and produced 
new and strange admixtures — gneiss, and mica slate, and 
granular limestone. — Every repetition of the process was fol- 
lowed by new combinations of old materials. The vast rifts 
and chasms in the crust of the earth closed up, or gave room 
for the elevation of mountain chains. The external signs of 
volcanic activity, if they did not contract in range, diminished 
in intensity. The central heat given off" from the surface of 
the earth was greatly reduced ; life became possible ; and the 
earth approached nearer and nearer to its present configura- 
tion. And thus, on each imaginary visit we make to the an- 
cient earth, we find it in progress. The activity we behold is 
not in reality chaotic. Every change is only the result of a 
new chemical combination, or the evolution of a new law, or 
the effect of a force newly come into operation. 


Continuity. — According to another of our hypothetical laws, 
it may be expected that the manifestation, besides being pro- 
gressive, will be continuous, or will be progressive by being 
continuous, leaving no intervals of time, or of degree, but such 
as the modifying influence of other laws may require or account 

1. I am well aware of the metaphysical, as well as mathe- 
matical, universality which has been ascribed to the law of 
continuity ; and of the errors and evils arising from such an 
imqualified extension of its application. It was first applied 
I o motion. Galileo ^ — referring the idea to Plato — affirmed 
that a body cannot pass from a state of rest to a certain de- 
gree of velocity without passing tlu-ough all tlie intermediate 
degrees of motion. Leibnitz not only asserted the law in a 
more general form,'^ but carried it on from matter into the 
domain of mind; adducing it to demonstrate that the mind 
never ceases to think, even in sk^ep ; and that death, in an 

' Dialog, iii. 150; iv. 32. ^ Opera, i. 366. 


absolute sense, is an impossibility.^ Bonnet, in harmony Avitli 
the maxim, Natiuri non operatur per saltu/u, deduced from the 
law of continuity the conclusion — not indeed entirely unknown 
to philosophy before — that creation must consist of a scale of 
being, graduated downwards, without any saltus, or leap, from 
the Creator to the unorganized atom. And, subsequently, 
Helvetius applied the law to the progress of human improve- 
ment.2 Nor have writers since been wanting to press it still 
farther — to the illustration of that doctrine of necessity, ^bich 
regards all the phenomena of human life as concatenated in a 
chain of iron mechanism. And even beyond this, it has been 
made to countenance a theory of development, according to 
which, an unbroken chain of gradually advanced organization 
has been evolved, from the crystal to the globule, and thence, 
through the successive stages of the polypus, the mollux, the 
insect, the fish, the reptile, the bird, and the beast, up to the 
monkey and the man.3 

2. But while, on the one hand, we avoid being led away by 
a dazzling generality, or being offended by a wild speculation, 
reckless alike of inductive facts and of moral consequences, let 
us not, on the other, reject a principle which, when viewed in 
subservient relation to other principles, may prove to exist, 
and to have a place in the reality of things. Such a view I 
have expressed generally in the announcement at the head of 
this section. The actual modifications to which I believe it to 
be subjected will become apparent as we advance, from stage 
to stage, in our examination of its history. For the present, 
we have only to do with its application to unorganized matter. 

3. What was the primordial constitution or condition of the 
material universe ? That it existed, at first, in a gaseous, dif- 
fused, and nebulous state, is only an hypothesis ; and an hypo- 
thesis, as has been remarked already, employed by Laplace, 
chiefly for the purpose of accounting for the motions of the 
solar system. And the fact that the space-penetrating power 
of Lord Rosse's telescope has resolved many of the supposed 
nebula into starry systems, requires us to keep the hypothesis 
still at a wide distance from the realities of science. Indeed, 
it awakens the conviction that, in the present life, we can 
never arrive at certainty respecting the nebulous formation of 
systems; for were our telescopic power to be multiplied a 

* lb. 11. 51. 2 De I'Esprit, dis. iv. c. i. 

^ Among such speculators may be named the author of the " Vestiges 
of the Natural History of Creation." 


thousand-fold, so that we could resolve all the nebulae within 
the extended range of our present observation, we could not 
be sure that nebulous bodies did not exist beyond ; and were 
our power of observation to be then doubled, we should pro- 
bably still behold in the horizon of space other nebulous ap- 
pearances — realms of apparent star-dust — defying our utmost 
powers of resolution. All that we can hope for is an approx- 
imation to the truth. 

Now such an approximation, however far it may be from 
the actual attainment of the truth, does appear to be made by 
the nebular hypothesis. It harmonize* with what appears to 
be the formative processes, going on at present in certain com- 
etary bodies. It hypothetically accounts for the motions of the 
planetary bodies, as masses thrown off from the central body. 
It agrees with the geometrical form of the earth ; its oblate- 
ness seeming to reveal the pristine fluidity of the body ; for 
such is the figure which it would assume as the consequence 
of a centrifugal force operating on a soft rotating mass. So 
that " its figure is its history ;" for it indicates the mode of its 
origin as formed, under the conditions supposed, by gradual 
condensation. And " surely the vision of these unfathomable 
changes, of the solemn march of these majestic heavens from 
phase to phase, obediently fulfiUing their awful destiny, will 
be lost on the heart of the adorer, unless it swells with that 
humility which is the best homage to the Supreme ! Between 
us and the Highest there is still vastness and mystery. To 
take wing beyond tJIrestrial precincts, perhaps, is not wholly 
forbidden, provided we go with unsandaled feet, as if on hqlj 
ground. An order hanging tremblingly over nothingness, and 
of which every constituent fails not to beseech incessantly for 
a substance and substratum, in the idea of One who liveth 

FOR EVER !" i 

It has been affirmed, indeed, that the planets show " a pro- 
gressive diminution in density from the one nearest the sun to 
that which is most distant ;" that the motions of the solar sys- 
tem are " all in one direction — from west to east ;" and that 
" the distances of the planets are curiously relative."^ But 

Nichol's Architecture of the Heavens. 
^ Vestiges of Creation, pp. 9, 10. The period of the newly-discovered 
planet Neptune is now ascertained to be 166 j'ears, and its mean distance 
30 terrestrial radii, instead of 38. So that Bode's empirical law of the 
*' curiously relative" distances of the planets, has failed with regard to 


such continuity iias no existence in nature. The density of 
the sun itself is only about a fourth of tliat of the earth. The 
densities of Venus, Earth, and Mars, are nearly equal. While 
the density of Uranus is greater than that of Saturn, which is 
nearer the sun. The jnotion of the satellites of Uranus is 
retrograde — from east to west. And the relative distances of 
Mercury and Venus, and of the only satellites which admit of 
comparison, — those of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, — from 
their primaries, exhibit no such uniform disposition as the 
statement implies. The collocation and motions of the sys- 
tem cannot be referred to chance, because of its calculated 
uniformity ; nor to natural law, owing to its departures from 

4. The law of continuity, in a modified form, has been ap- 
plied, not only to the formation of material systems by passing 
from a fluid state through all the intermediate stages to that 
of the separation and solidification of their parts, but also to 
the subsequent history of the earth as one of these parts. Thus, 
Macculloch and others employed it to show that the rocks 
called trap rocks were not of sedimentary origin, but that, as 
they were found in all the intermediate stages between the 
igneous and that most nearly resembling the sedimentary form, 
they constitute a connecting link between these two extremes, 
and form a transition series. Lyell has employed this principle 
of gradation, in opposition to the catastrophists, who suppose 
that the present state of the earth has been rapidly attained 
by violent changes and paroxysms, to slftw that all geological 
phenomena have been produced slowly, by causes which are 
still acting on the surface of the earth. According to this 
view, the present condition of our planet has been reached, 
not by the wide leaps of geological causes, but by their con- 
tinuous and gradational operation. 

5. The true view, probably, is that which reconciles both 
methods ; and which sees alike in the steady operation of laws 
leading, in the lapse of ages, to a geological catastrophe, and 
in the catastrophe preparing the way for the resumed and 
steady operation of these laws, the uninterrupted progress of 
the great design. Thus interpreted, science joins with In- 
spiration in asking, " Hast thou not known, hast thou not 
heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the 
ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary ?" No pause 
occurred through all the unmeasured periods of the geological 
process ; no revolution, which rendered it necessaiy to begin 
the work airain. 


6. Descending even to the chemical properties of matter, 
we find a gradation in the nature of its elementary substances. 
For convenience, indeed, these fifty or sixty substances are 
divided into the metallic and the non-metallic. But there is 
no such a break in their characteristics as to justify this divi- 
sion. Arsenic, antimony, phosphorus, selenium, sulphur, con- 
stitute a connecting chain between the two series. 


Activity. — Another of our laws prepares us to find the uni- 
verse of matter in a state of activity. 

1. Accordingly, even the present repose of nature is only 
apparent. Not an atom, not a world is at rest. The simplest 
and minutest body is the subject of internal movements among 
the particles composing it. The interior of the earth is inces- 
santly reacting on the exterior. Waves of motion pass through 
it. The bursting forth of hot springs, jets of steam, mud volca- 
noes, the up-heaval of dome-shaped mountains, the appearance 
of new eruptive islands, the processes of rock formation, and 
the steady rising in its level of Sweden and other portions of 
the earth's surface, proclaim the constant action of an elastic 
vapor within. " Could we obtain daily news of the state of 
the whole of the earth's crust, we should, in all probability, be- 
come convinced that some point or another of its surface is 
ceaselessly shaken ; that there is uninterrupted reaction of the 
interior upon the exterior going on."i 

By the operation of the various forces and modifications of 
the law of attraction, everything is changing its relations or its 
place ; the granite itself yields ; and nature is kept in mutual 
action and reaction. " Electricity, as a chemical agent, may 
be considered not only as directly j)roducing an infinite variety 
of changes, but, likewise, as influencing almost all which take 
place. There are not two substances on the surface of the 
globe, that are not in difierent electrical relations to each other ; 
and chemical attraction itself seems to be a peculiar form of 
the exhibition of electrical attraction ; and wherever the atmos- 
phere, or water, or any part of the surface of the earth, gains 
accumulated electricity of a different kind from the contiguous 
surfaces, the tendency of this electricity is to produce new ar- 
rangements of the parts of the surfaces."^ 

^ Humboldt's Cosmos, p.221. 

^ Sir Humphrey Davy's Consolations in Travel^ p. 271. 


All is in motion around and beyond the earth. Climate is 
the aggregate result of an unknown variety of agents and laws 
in constant play. The comparative repose of the complicated 
atmosphere depends on the incessant activity of its elements. 
The northern light is a magnetic storm — "a terrestrial activity 
raised to the pitch of a luminous phenomenon," — as lightning 
is evolved by an electrical storm. The fall of meteoric stones 
indicates the forces which are at work in the regions beyond 
our planet. A solitary star shooting across the blue vault of 
heaven tells us that the realms of space, calm and dream- 
less though they look, are realms of all -pervading, burning 
activity. But, at times, these " fiery tears " of the sky are seen 
to fall in showers, and even streams ; awakening the idea of 
an ever-circulating ring composed of myriads of luminous 
meteoric bodies, intersecting the orbit of the earth. The zodi- 
acal hght circles round the sun. The pulsations which tremble 
through the tail of a comet millions of miles in length, are 
probably only apparent, and produced by our atmosphere ; but 
the nuclei of those comets " bind, by their attractive power, the 
very outermost particles of the tail that is streaming away at 
the distance of millions of miles from them." The motions of 
the double stars reveal the presence of the gravitating force, 
in the remotest regions of space. The solar system changes 
its place in the universe. Stars appear and disappear. The 
astral universe moves. " If we imagine, as in a vision of the 
fancy," says Humboldt, " the acuteness of our sense preternatu- 
rally sharpened even to the extreme limit of telescopic vision, 
and incidents, which are separated by vast intervals of time, 
compressed into a day or an hour, everything like rest in spacial 
existence will forthwith disappear. We shall find the innume- 
rable hosts of the fixed stars commoved in groups in diflTerent 
directions; nebulae drawing hither and thither, like cosmic 
clouds ; the milky way breaking up in particular parts, and its 
veil rent ; motion in every part of the vault of heaven." 

2. Now this ideal picture may help us to conceive of scenes 
which actually existed in the earlier stages of the material 
universe. If matter first appeared at the Omnipotent call, in 
nebulous masses, or if the heavenly bodies generally have pass- 
ed througli changes similar to those of our own planet, space must 
have been the theatre of dynamic activity and conflict beyond 
all our present powers of illustration. The crust of the earth 
tells its own eventful history. Time was when that solid but 
still thin crust ever quivered and undulated with the concussive 


forces within. Earthquakes shattered and rifted it, and opened, 
in all directions, volcanic communication between the molten 
interior and the surface. Tlirough the yawning and abyss-like 
fissures which traversed it, mountain chains were uplifted ; or 
else eruptive matters were poured forth from unknov/n depths 

— granite, porphyry, and basalt — an ocean of rock. Sedi- 
mentary formations took place, through mechanical and chem- 
ical action of an intensity incomparably greater than that 
which obtained in later eras. Subterraneous forces repeatedly 
lifted these ever-thickening strata from the beds of the primi- 
tive waters, and allowed them to sink back again. But besides 
unheaving these masses, dislocating and rending them asunder, 
the eruptive rocks chemically transformed them into new 
species of rocks. In the great subterranean laboratory, the 
metamorphic process was ever proceeding on a scale immeasu- 
rable. And while this mighty action from within was penetrat- 
ing outwardly and changing the nature of the older strata, 
causes of equal potency without were maintaining the antag- 
onist process of stratification. Vast beds of alluvium or drift 
were formed ; and inland lakes and pent-up seas, displaced by 
the upheaval of some new range of Alps or Apennines, rushed 
tumultuously down, displacing, in their turn, the mountain 
masses which obstructed their course, and hastened to resume 
their office of chemical deposition. 

The history of all these changes, we say, is legibly incribed 
in the earth itself. It is only by beholding the etfects" of such 
activity, as preserved from the morning of time, and still con- 
tinued in our presence, that we know anything of the laws and 
properties of matter. A dead, motionless expanse of matter 

— if such a thing were possible — would be a petrifying blank 
It would reveal nothing of itself, and could say nothing of its 
Maker. But such an anomaly is unknown. Matter is full of 
the life of motion. Geology admits us into the laboratory of 
the past ; and we behold, laid up for our inspection, the results 
of activities and powers, which fills the mind with awe to 
imagine. We see that the great antagonist processes of sedi- 
mentation and crystallization have never paused. The endless 
admixtures of matter have maintained its forces in ever-vary- 
ing play. And still its multifarious chemical diversity evokes 
the spirit of change and motion. Its particles essay to arrange 
themselves in regular forms. In its ever-shifting restlessness, 
it discloses relations to light, to heat, and to the phenomena of 
electro-magnetism. In a v/ord, its activity reveals its laws 


and develops its properties ; and the record of these is the 
record of the Power wliich originated and keeps them all in 


Development. — Here, also, according to another law, the 
same property which existed in the preceding, or inferior part 
of the stage, is not only carried up to the higher, but is there 
applied to a new and a higher purpose. Cohesion finds its 
complement in affinity ; and affinity finds its perfection in crys- 
tallization. This appears to be the highest state of mere inor- 
ganic matter. It involves the idea of numerical and developed 
symmetry. A body perfectly crystallized, and exhibiting not 
merely geometrical symmetry of outward shape, but showing, 
by its cleavage, its transparency, its uniform and determinate 
optical properties, that the same regularity pervades every por- 
tion of the mass, is an object for the production of which every 
great physical law and element of nature appears to have com- 
bined — suggesting to the imagination a beautiful pre-intima- 
tion of the coming flower. 


Relations. — Another of our laws warrants us to expect that 
every object and event in the material universe will be found 
to be variously related. Accordingly, not an atom floats apart 
in isolation ; no change, however slight, is self-originated, or 
terminates with itself. 

1. Matter has relations internal and coexistent; — by the 
attraction of cohesion, for example, the particles of masses are 
kept together even when in violent motion. It has also rela- 
tions external and coexistent ; for, by gravitation, these masses 
themselves are bound to each other. " When we contemplate," 
says Sir John Herschel, " the constituents of the planetary sys- 
tem from the point of view wliich this relation affords us, it 
is no longer mere analogy which strikes us — no longer a gen- 
eral resemblance among them, as individuals independent of 
each other, and circulating about the sun, each according to its 
own peculiar nature, and connected with it by its own peculiar 
tie. The resemblance is now perceived to be a true family 
likeness ; they are bound up in one chain — interwoven in one 
web of mutual relation and harmonious agreement — subjected 


to one pervading influence, which extends from the centre to 
the farthest limits of that great system, of whicli all of them, 
the earth included, must henceforth be regarded as members." i 

2. Matter has relations internal and successively existent ; 
chemical changes which take place in all inorganic bodies by 
motions which are not sensible, or at least not measurable. 
And it has relations external and successively existent ; and 
which proclaim themselves in the sensible and measurable mo- 
tions of bodies. If, instead of confining myself to the bare 
illustration of the law now under consideration, it were my 
object to enlarge on the relations of inorganic nature scientiil- 
cally regarded,'-^ this would be the place for their introduction 
and methodical distribution ; for the coexistent phenomena of 
matter belong to natural history, or are related to space ; and 
its successively existent phenomena to natural philosophy, or 
are related to time. 

3. Among the relations more obvious and interesting to a 
dweller on the earth, I would merely advert to the relative 
quantities of land and sea, a relation which, as it was often 
changed in the early geological periods, must have produced 
corresponding changes npon the distribution of temperature ; 
lo the relation between the velocity of the earth's rotation on 
its axis, and the degree of its mean temperature ; and, to the 
geological relations between the interior and exterior of the 
earth — between the aqueous formations without, and the igne- 
ous processes within, by which rocky masses, granitic, porphy- 
ritic, and serpentine, forcing up their way from below, have 
burst through the sedimentary strata, hardening, changing, or 
variously commingling them. 

4. In fine, every object and event-in the material universe 
is all-related. Action and reaction, relations of coexistence and 
of sequence, are everywhere. In the process of generaliza- 
tion, science discovers that the relations of physical cause and 
effect are only secondary, or phenomenal ; that they are pro- 
perly medial, referring it back to something higher, more gen- 
eral and comprehensive still. The discovery of the law of 
attraction, enabled man to generalize many inferior laws, and 
to point out their subordinate place and their relations. But 
does not attraction itself sustain a relation to something prior 
and more general still ? To ascertain this is the office, and 

^ Astronomy, Cabinet Cyclopedia. 

^ See Mrs. Somcrville's Connection of the Pliysicul Sciences, passim. 


the present occupation of science. Man only knows — as a 
fact of reason — that, generaUze the relations of matter as he 
may, there must be a point at which the whole coexistent series 
merges in the will of the great Originating Cause ; and that, 
of the whole series of sequent relations, there is no point from 
which that agency is absent. The most absolute, comprehen- 
sive, and profound, of all the relations of matter, is that of the 
dependence on the will of God. 


Order. — As each of the physical laws to which we have 
adverted may be supposed to have come into operation, in the 
opening stage of creation, in succession ; so, according to anoth- 
er of our laws, in the same order of succession they operate still 
The crystalline state of the body may be destroyed, and yet 
the affinity and the gravitation remain ; the affinity may next 
be destroyed, and yet the gravitation remain. Each prior law 
acts, in so far, independently of that which succeeds it ; each sub- 
sequent law is dej^endent on pre-existing laws, or is generated 
by them, and yet harmonizes with them, or subordinates them 
to itself. This is seen alike in the formation of the crystal, in 
the laboratory of the chemist, and in the granite masses which 
we find thrust up from the subterranean laboratory, through 
the crust of the earth. 


Influence. — We may expect also that everything will bring 
in it, and with it, in its own capability of subserving the end, 
a reason why all otlier things should be influenced by it ; a 
reason for the degree in which they should be influenced by 
it ; and for the degree in v/hich it, in its turn, should be influ- 
enced by everything else. The manner in which one law may 
be said to wait on another, we have seen. And the way (tak- 
ing our example from gravitation) in which the lighter mass 
may be said to be subordinated to the heavier, is equally evi- 
dent ; for matter attracts directly as the mass, and inversely 
as the squares of the distance. So that it does not follow, from 
the superior gravity of the earth, that the niote floating near 
the surface has no weight. The earth and a gossamer mutu- 
ally attract each other, in the. proportion of the mass of the 
earth tc the mass of the gossamer, but only in that proportion. 


Every mass finds a place, and every action produces reaction ; 
but, for the same reason that the one is rehited to space at all, 
and the other to motion and time, the relation of each is pro- 
portioned, definite, regulated by law. 


Subordination. — In harmony with the last named law, we 
are led by another of our principles to expect that everything 
subordinate in rank, though it may have been prior in its ori- 
gin, will be subject to each higher object or law of creation. 
The facts adduced under the two laws immediately preceding 
will, it is presumed, sufficiently exemplify this principle. Illus- 
trations of it, as applied to organic nature, will be found in 
their proper places, in the subsequent part of this treatise. 


Uniformity. — According to another of our principles, nat- 
ural laws, though originally contingent, as opposed to absolute- 
ly necessary, are, as far as we know them, uniform and uni- 
versal. "Not one faileth." 

1. The same law which fonns the tear into a globule, pro- 
duces the spherical form of the vast masses which people space. 
All the phenomena of the material system, as far as we know 
them, are reducible to mathematical laws. The rotation of the 
earth in twenty-four hours has not varied by the one-hundredth 
part of a second, since the age of Hipparchus — full two thou- 
sand years ago. Newton, indeed, inferred that the irregulari- 
ties arising "from the mutual actions of comets and planets upon 
one another will be apt to increase, till the system wants a 
reformation." i He left these perturbations to be calculated 
by his successors. And Lagrange and Laplace, by a profound 
analysis, established the great principle that these variations 
are limited within certain periods, and that they alternate with 
periods of restoration. This has been called " the stability of 
the planetary system." And thus laws, originally contingent 
on the will of God, are made, by the same will, permanent and 

2. In affirming the invariableness of the laws of nature, 
then, it is to be distinctly understood ; first, that this constancy 

* Optics, Query 31. 


involves no idea of eternal or independent existence, but the 
contrary. " The question, — what are the laws of nature ? may- 
be stated thus : what are the fewest and simplest assumptions, 
which, being granted, the whole existing order of nature would 
result? . . . When Kepler expressed (he regularity which ex- 
ists in- the observed motions of the heavenly bodies, by the 
three general propositions called his laws, he,, in so doing, 
pointed out three simple volitions, by which, instead of a much 
greater number, it appeared that the v.hole scheme of the 
heavenly motions, so far as yet observed, might be conceived 
to have been produced." i Laws of nature, then, strictly speak- 
ing, is a phrase denoting only the uniformities existing among 
natural phenomena. To speak of these uniformities as if they 
were producing or regulating powers, is obviously absurd. 
They simply presu23pose such powers or volitions, and are 
their manifestations. The first sequence was a thing produ- 
ced, and proclaimed a producer. Secondly, the regularity of 
the laws of nature is quite compatible with the numerical in- 
crease of their manifestations, and even, conditionally, with the 
numerical increase of the volitions which they manifest. Un- 
less the universe was flashed into existence, entire and com- 
plete, at once, the phenomena of nature must have become 
more complex and multiform, as time has advanced. Nor, 
thirdly, is the stability of nature inconsistent with apparent de- 
rangements and partial perturbations ; for these very pertur- 
bations are only manifestations of other created laws. Still, 
however, it must be admitted that they are of a kind to inti- 
mate, that all which is now understood as included in the sta- 
bility of creation, may prove to be included in a still more 
comprehensive law of change. And hence, fourthly, the reg- 
ularity of nature for unnumbered ages, is quite compatible 
with subsequent changes in its constitution. As its laws were 
originally contingent on the Divine appointment, so may be 
their continuance. Its present stability may be only provi- 
sional. And they who would abandon its phenomena to ca- 
price, are but little more blameworthy than they who deem 
its laws for ever unalterable. The laws of nature are uniform 
and universal, but only conditionally so. 

^ Hill's System of Logic, vol. i. p. 384. 



Obligation. — One of our laws prepares us to expect that 
everything belonging to the great system of creation will be 
found, either promoting, or existing under an obligation to 
promote, the great end, commensurate with its means, and re- 

1. Of course, obligation can be predicated of inanimate matter 
only in a metaphorical sense, similar to that in which the same 
material nature is said to be governed by laws. Now laws, 
strictly speaking, are moral rules ; " rules for the conscious ac- 
tions of a person ; rules which, as a matter of possibility, we 
may obey or transgress ; the latter event being combined, not 
with an impossibility, but with a penalty. But the Laws of 
Nature are something different from this ; they are rules for 
that which things are to do and suffer ; and this by no con- 
sciousness or will of theirs. They are rules describing the 
mode in which things do act ; they are invariably obeyed ; 
their trangression is not punished, it is excluded. The language 
of a moral law is, man shall not kill ; the language of a Law 
of Nature is, a stone will fall to the earth." Here " all things 
are ordered by number, and weight, and measure. ' God,' as 
was said by the ancients, ' works by geometry;' the legislation 
of the material universe is necessarily delivered in the lan- 
guage of mathematics ; the stars in their courses are regulated 
by the properties of conic sections, and the winds depend on 
arithmetical and geometrical progressions of elasticity and pres- 
sure." 1 

2. As " the laws of nature," then, can only properly denote 
those rules by which God is pleased to regulate the phenomena 
of nature — rules revealed by the mode of His own w^orking 
in nature ; so, if obligation be predicated of nature, it can only 
denote the necessity which He is pleased to incur to operate 
uniformly in harmony with those rules, in order to the attain- 
ment of a proposed end. Thus, if the planetary system is to 
be maintained as it is, certain conditions must be fulfilled. 
With a perpetual tendency to fly off in a straight line from its 
solar centre, the physical well-being or continuance of the sys- 
tem depends on its mechanical obedience to an opposite law. 
The stability and physical progress of the whole depend on 
the perfect balance of laws apparently opposed to each other ; 

* Professor Whewell's B. Treatise, chap. ii. 


and accordingly the balance is allowed to know no material 
disturbance. " For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven: 
Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They con- 
tinue this day according to thine ordinances : for all are thy 
servants." ' 


Well-being. — By another of our laws we are led to expect 
that everything will enjoy an amount of good, or exhibit a 
degree of well-being, proportionate to the degree of its con- 
formity to the laws of its being. Here, again, our language, 
in its present application, must be understood metaphorically. 
We are still in a domain in which obedience is only mechan- 
ical, and from which the possibility of transgression is ex- 

It might, indeed, be remarked, that even here we meet with 
many things which are at once suggestive of an ideal physical 
perfection, and which yet exhibit departures from it — orbits 
elliptical, motions with perturbations, spheres bulging, depress- 
ed, and even the surface of such a sphere rising and sinking 
with Himalayan irregularities. But all this is according to 
prescribed law ; and, as such, is a part of the material system. 
As far, therefore, as the principle now under consideration has 
any application here, it can relate only to the necessary changes 
and apparent conflicts which the material phenomena exhibit. 
The composition of a chemical body, for example, depends on 
the presence of certain conditions, a mechanical force disturbs 
or destroys one or more of these conditions, and the composi- 
tion is at an end. Certain stars have disappeared from the 
firmament ; a fact, proclaiming, at least, that the laws on which 
their visibility depended are no longer in operation in relation 
to them, but have been overborne by some counteracting power. 
Certain changes have been going on in the motions of the 
heavenly bodies from the first records of science ; — the eccen- 
tricity of the earth's orbit has been diminishing ; the moon has 
been moving quicker and quicker ; and the obliquity of the 
ecliptic becoming less. But, according to Laplace, the distur- 
bance never passes a certain limit. The system contains a 
provision for complete restoration, so that the continuance of 

* Ps. cxix. 89—91. 


the system depends on the certainty of that provision, and on 
its mechanical conformity thereto.' 


Analogy. — We may expect that the whole creation, as it is 
to answer a purpose, is arranged on a plan, and is therefore 
analogous in all its parts. Accordingly, relations of resem- 
blance form the subject of the science of physical induction. 
" These are a grammar for the understanding of nature ;" 2 the 
perception of such resemblances, and the conviction of their 
infinite extension, form the ground of that antecedent proba- 
bility of success which encourages the inductive inquirer to 
advance from the known to the unknown. Induction is not a 
random aggregation of instances, it involves the idea that na- 
ture is at unity with itself, and thus suggests the direction of 
his inquiries. Every addition to his knowledge is an additional 
clue to future discovery ; " for nature is very consonant and 
conformable to herself."^ Now, here, in this opening stage 
of creation, analogies already abound; numerical analogies, 
glimpses of which, from Pythagoras to Kepler, have disposed 
the loftiest minds to indulge in mysticism ; and analogies, which, 
by the scientific use of general symbols, or algebraic formulae, 
have led to discoveries 4 at which the discoverer himself was 
not aiming. Here, analogies of motion exist ; suggesting to 
a Newton, a relation between the falling of a stone to the earth 
and the circulation of the moon around the earth ; the period- 
ical return of comets ; the union of the planetary system. 
Here are remarkable points of resemblance, if nothing more, 
between electricity, galvanism, and magnetism ; striking par- 
allels between light and sound ; and, indeed, such resemblances 
as have not merely ever been the only legitimate guide of man 
in his interpretations of nature, but have enabled him to theo- 
rise m advance of his facts — to announce the existence of a 
law afterwards to be discovered. Often, too, have they forced 

* Hence the apostrophe of the philosophic poet of nature in his Ode to 

" Stern lawgiver ! 

Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong ; 

And the most ancient heavens through thee are fresh and strong." 

* Bishop Berkely's Siris, p. 120. 

^ Newton; 31st Query at the end of Optics. 

•* Professor Forbes on Polarization of Heat ; E4inb. Trans., vol. xiii. 
^ ■ "9 ' ■ ■ 


him from the arbitrary distributions of facts in which he had 
taken refuge, and have conducted him, as by a clue, to the 
natural classifications of the Creator himself 

2. Here, in this primitive stage of the Divine Manifestation, 
the Deity appears casting the moulds, sketching the outhnes, 
and constituting the relations of future things. As the laws as 
yet in operation are few and simple, hints and shadows of the 
nobler things to come are all that can be expected. But, like 
a hieroglyphic language in its early state, every color is a 
symbol, every form expressive of an idea, and, as in such a 
language too, to be subsequently employed to represent loftier 
truths not yet disclosed. Here. — could we have looked on 
the scene with a prophetic eye — here, we might have said, 
the poet will find many of his most impressive images ; the 
reasoner his comparisons ; and hence the scientific theorist will 
derive his prolific suggestions. To these mountains Divine 
Faithfulness will point and say, " It is like the great mountains, 
and it reacheth to the heavens." Divine Immutability, point- 
ing to this firmament as an image of its own stability, will 
declare, " If the heavens can pass away, then my covenant 
shall fail." And creating power, deriving a proof of omnipo- 
tence from the magnitude of the material universe, will simply 
afiirm, "I the Lord made all these things." God is here 
sowing the seeds of things for all the future. 

3. Classification. — Laplace has said that " an intelligence, 
which, at a given instant, should know all the forces by which 
nature is urged, and the respective situation of the beings of 
which nature is composed ; if, moreover, it were sufficiently 
comprehensive to subject these data to calculation, w^ould 
include in the same formula, the movements of the largest 
bodies of the universe and those of the slightest atom. Noth- 
ing would be uncertain to such an intelligence, and the future, 
no less than the past, would be present to its eyes." And 
Leibnitz, before him, had gone still farther, representing the 
Eternal Mind as incessantly occupied in the solution of this 
problem — The state of one monad, or elementafy atom, being 
given, to determine the state, past, present and future, of the 
whole universe. Now, to conceive of truths physical and 
moral as being linked together mathematically, changes ethics 
into physics, and is alike repugnant to philosophy and religion. 
Nor is it less so to conceive even of the laws of mechanical 
force and motion as if they were superior to the Will which 
produced them, and were as necessarily binding on Him as on 



the phenomena of matter. We freely admit that all mechani- 
cal actions arc thus open to tlie calculation of the Supreme 
Intelligence, for they are only the expressions of His own 
laws ; but we would always accompany the admission with the 
remarks that His knowledge of material phenomena is inde- 
pendent of such calculations, and that the phenomena them- 
selves never pass from His control. 

4. Such a knowledge of the material universe is the unat- 
tainable ideal of human science; and every new discovery, 
however minute, seems to bring us a step nearer to it. But 
a perfect physical science would require a knowledge of all 
the properties of matter ; the processes which develop these 
properties ; the laws of these processes ; the number of ele- 
mentary or undecompoundable substances ; the combinations 
of which they admit ^ together with the original quantities and 
relative positions of each. Now, were we possessed of such 
knowledge, the principles of our theory would enable us to 
classify inorganic phenomena according to the method in which 
they have been arranged and employed in nature. For we 
should place them according to the order in which they come 
into operation ; and according to their relative value, or to the 
nature and number of the properties which they include, and of 
the changes which tJiey are capable of producing upon others ; so 
that no property would be regarded as absolutely valueless. 

5. According to this method, 1. No inorganic characteristic 
is to be regarded as absolutely valueless. If minerals are to 
be classified, their external characters of hardness, specific 
gravity, color, lustre, and crystalline forms, as well as their 
chemical constitution, are to be taken into the account. 2. 
That property, or union of properties, is to be held as the most 
important which contributes most to distinguish and individual- 
ise the body to which it belongs, and is most capable of affect- 
ing naturally other things. 3. Such property cannot be arbi- 
trarily assigned, but must be determined by observation or 
experiment ; for it may be the most unobvious and antecedently- 
unexpected property. 4. As even inorganic elements exhibit 
a great system of relations, an arrangement formed on one 
true principle will not be found at variance with an arrange- 
ment formed on another true principle. 

True, much of the knowledge essential for such a classifica- 
tion, is still wanting ; knowledge as essential as that of the 
laws of mechanics, and of the law of definite proportions, 
which we do possess. But not the less important is it that 


material phenomena should meantime be arranged, as fa? as 
we know-them, according to the principles suggested; that, a 
supposed elementary body, for example, should be regarded 
as such until it can be proved to be otherwise, since its power 
of resisting attempts to decompose it shows that it is a body of 
primary importance in the economy of nature. For, if our 
method of classification be correct, it cannot fail, by calling 
attention to those leading properties on which it is founded, to 
bring before us the effects resulting from their operation, and 
thus to increase our knowledge ; which increase of knowledge 
again would enable us to test and improve our classification. 


Contingent. — In harmony ivith another of our Laws, the 
constitution of the material system may he expected to he found 
contingent — i. e., resolvahle into the sovereign will of the Divine 
Creator ; and^ as such, to he ascertainable by ohservation and 
experiment alone. 

1. For example, under the present collocation and motion of 
the solar system, or of any similar system, the simultaneous 
existence of every mass of matter composing it was mathe- 
matically necessary ; but tliis does not prove that the existmg 
balance of motions might not be a change from some previous 
arrangement; or that it might not have been an originally 
selected balance. The laws of motion cannot be shown to have 
been inevitable. No reason can be assigned why they must 
obtain. Gravitation, as it is, does not exist necessarily; in 
many respects it is a unique law, characterized by peculiar 
properties ; and, for aught we can see, it might have been vari- 
ously modified. " Its being found everywhere is necessary for 
its uses ; but this is so far from being a sufficient explanation 
of its existence, that it is an additional fact to be explained." 
That peculiarity of the satellites, by which their motion of ro- 
tation is exactly equal to their motion of revolution, being cal- 
culated, by Laplace, according to the laws of probability, it 
was found that there is more than 2000 to 1 that this is not 
the effect of chance.^ 

2. That the sun, which is the centre of attraction to our 
system, should be also the grand centre of illumination and of 
heat, cannot, as Newton pointed out,^ be shown to be a neces- 

' Syst. vol. ii. p. 327. 

2 Letter I. to Bentley , Works, vol. iv. p. 430 . 


sary arrangement. There is no apparent connection between 
its mass and its luminousness, its central position and its dif- 
fusion of heat. The direction of the satellites and of their 
primaries from west to east is not necessary ; the satellites of 
Uranus move from east to west. The molecular constitution 
of matter, with all its admirable and complicated adaptations 
to the economy of nature, is by no means a necessary condi- 
tion of its existence.i Leaving to it, for example, hardness, 
and weight, and motion, we can yet conceive of the laws of 
these properties being very different from what they now are, 
and can specify some of the consequences which would result 
from such difference.^ 

3. Why such and such natural agents were originated, and 
no others, " or why they are commingled in such and such a, 
manner throughout space, is a question we cannot answer,"3 
by any study of the things themselves. As to the precise 
amount of matter which should exist, or the space which the 
whole should occupy — what but the Sovereign will of the 
Creator was to determine ? In a word, both the internal and 
external constitution of the material universe, the properties 
of its particles, and the distribution of its masses, the nature 
of its laws and the magnitudes (sometimes called arbitrary) 
which those laws regulate, were alike contingent on the Divine 
appointment. No being existed to challenge His right. As 
He was the absolute originator, so He was the sole Disposer 
of the whole. 

4. Here, then, was scope for the exercise of the same " good 
pleasure" on which the whole purpose of the Divine manifes- 
tation had depended. And thus the creation, while it presup- 
poses those necessary truths which are the condition of its 
existence, exhibits the Creator meting out all its internal ar- 
rangements with the line and balance of His Sovereign ap- 


Ultimata. — The mention of the dependence of matter in- 
troduces another law — the law of ultimate facts. 

1. By an ultimate fact is meant a truth, or an event, not 

^ Prout's Bridgewater T., c. iii. 
' Whewell's Bridgewater T., b. ii. pj). 20, 223. 
3 JMill's I-ogic, vol. i. p. 417. 


derivative from anything of the same kind, and whioh, by 
necessity of nature, admits of no physical solution. And the 
difference between necessary truths and ultimate facts is, that 
the former exist independently of any external manifestation, 
and, therefore, antecedently to creation ; the latter are the facts 
wliich, to our view, touch that necessary truth, or stand next 
to it, being immediately related to it, and dependent on it. 
The former is unconditional ; the latter are conditional on the 
former : for, as we have seen already, we cannot conceive of 
body without space ; of succession or motion without time ; nor 
of either body or motion without a causal Power. Space, is 
the condition of body ; time, of motion ; while Power is not 
only the condition, but also the cause, of both. And the ulti- 
mate truths belonging to this first stage of creation respect the 
relation of the Divine power to matter as connected both with 
space and with time. Here all objective mystery begins. 

2. In the order of nature, matter is to be viewed, first, con- 
temporaneously in its relation to space : — how came it really 
and objectively to be ? what relation did the Divine power 
bear to its creation ? We may, or may not, be able to resolve 
it all into its primordial elements ; — but how came these ele- 
ments themselves to exist, and what is their nature ? Having 
found, for instance, that a salt is composed of an acid and an 
alkali, and having decomposed the alkali into oxygen and a 
metallic base, we seem to have reached an impassable barrier 

— an ultimate fact. Beyond these elements we cannot go. 
They include nothing in themselves to account for their own 
origination. Could we have looked on them in the first mo- 
ment of their existence, we should have seen intuitively, that 
the only ground of their existence must be the will of God. 

3. But if the first moment of the existence of the material 
universe would have awakened the question, how comes it to 
be ? — the second moment would have brought the correspond- 
ing question, how comes it to continue in being .^ The first 
moment revealed a creation ; the second moment revealed a 
providence, or the causing of the created material to continue. 
If the first exhibited it in relation to space, ars coexistent, the 
second exhibited it in relation to time, as successively existent 

— for all its parts are in motion. Attraction, repulsion, trans- 
formation, change of physical relations, are constant and uni- 
versal. What is the relation of the Divine power to the forces 
em})loyed in all this motion ? Here we come to ultimate laws. 
When we have traced back the order in which the sequences 


in any pai'ticular class of natural plienomeiia occur, (ill ■' c hase 
reached the highest and the last of the series — that vvhicli, in 
the order of time, is presupposed by all the rest — we have 
reached our physical ultimatum. And we are conscious of 
the instinctive conviction that the continuance of the world, 
no less than its origination, has its ground in the will of God. 

4. But does the Divine will act in this case by a primary 
appointment only, or does it act also by an ever-present agency? 
Is motion only the prolonged result of an original impuEe : ^ or 
is the power which was put forth in the great original act, 
directly operative still ? There are those who entertain the 
former opinion. And although they may sometimes have been 
charged with thus magnifying second causes to the oblivion of 
the First Cause — and often, it is to be deplored, with justice 
— not ^ only is the opinion in question not incompatible with 
true piety, no doubt piety has, in some instances, erroneously 
led to its adoption. I speak not now, of course, of any theory 
such as that propounded in the " Vestiges of the Natural His- 
tory of Creation ;" and which represents the universe in its 
present state as the result of a gradual unfolding of an orio-i- 
nal germ, or the natural development of a principle, without 
any subsequent creative interposition. This is to render crea- 
tion an independent existence. After the primary act, accord- 
ing to this view, the Creator might have ceased to be — as far 
as the created universe was concerned. Rejoicing in its own 
independence, it could proceed, ad etemitatem, without Him.i 

5. Now, not only in opposition to such a theory, but even to 
that qualified view which, while it admits of creative interpo- 
sitions, yet regards the sequences of nature as ascribable only 
to the action of matter upon matter, according to a primary 
appointment ^- in opposition to such a view, we regard these 
sequences as owing to the constant concurrence of the Divine 
will. We believe that the same power which originated mat- 
ter with all its properties, its selected quantities, and combina- 
tions, maintains it in operation, not indeed by separate acts of 
power in each particular case, but by a constant regular voli- 
tion acting according to conditionally estabhshed laws. And 
we believe that this ever-present concurrence of the physical 
agency of the Deity with material phenomena dijQfers, accord- 

^ And as Newton affirms in his Scholium, at the end of the Principia : 
"Deus sine dominio, providentia, et causis, tinalibus, nihil aliud est quam 
Fatum et Natuka." 


ing to the differing nature of the properties and laws which 
they have, from the first, exhibited. 

6. "With any of the moral objections which may be supposed 
to lie against this view, we have not now to do ; except to re- 
mark that any hypothesis which essays to remove them from 
pressing against Providence, only transfers and leaves them to 
press equally against an original creation. As to the physical 
objections, it cannot be justly alleged that the regularity of the 
mechanism of nature is opposed to our view '^ we recognise 
that regularity as much as the other party ; we even rely on 
it in evidence of the truth of our views. Order is natural to 
Him ; He needs not to aim at it. The only question between 
us is, does the power which that regularity evinces, belong, at 
present, to the machine or to its Maker ? 

Nor does our view affect the instrumentality of what is 
properly meant by second causes. The suhordination of the 
parts of the great mechanism, is still supposable to any extent : 
but their orderly operation is viewed as always in dependence 
on the continuance of the Divine will to that effect. The se- 
quences of nature, however derivative and particular ; and the 
laws of nature, however general ; are the laws which He, in 
His wisdom, is pleased to prescribe to His own Ugency.2 

7. But, is it worthy of God — it is sometimes asked — to 

^ It may be worth the consideration of those who regard the universe 
as a self-acting machine — of which we have no time analogy — whether 
they are not misled by confounding regularity with explanation — law with 
cause — a perceived uniformity of sequence with the manner or principle 
of the sequence. " What is called explaining one law of nature by an- 
other, is but substituting one mystery for another ; and does nothing to 
render the general course of natuz-e other than mysterious : we can no 
more assign a why for the more extensive laws than for the partial ones. 
The explanation may substitute a mystery which has become familiar, 
and has grown to seem not mysterious, for one which is still strange. And 

this is the meaning of explanation in common parlance The laws 

thus explained or resolved, are sometimes said to be accounted for ; but 
the expression is incoiTCct, if taken to mean anything more than what 
has been already stated." — MilVs Logic, vol. i. pp. 559. 560. Yet the or- 
dinary fallacy is, that to discover the law of a sequence is to discover its 
cause ; and that having discovered the natural or proximate cause, no 
other cause need be thought of ; that the discoverer has taken it out of 
the hand of God and of mystery at the same time ; whereas, not only is 
the law where it was before in relation to the Lawgiver, but the mystery 
is often numerically doubled — the discovery being the unveiling of a 
new mystery. 

2 Su- John Herschel's Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy, 
p. 37. 


perform certain creating and sustaining acts of an inferior de- 
scription ? Is it not beneath tlie Divine dignity ? Tiius, the 
author before alluded to, represents it as " a most inconceiva- 
bly paltry exercise"^ of the power of God to create one of the 
lower species. But, to account for- the existence of the said 
species by ascribing it to the evolution of a natural law, is 
only an adjournment of the difficulty. For, unless it be sup- 
posed that in originating that natural law, the Deity Avas put- 
ting a power into operation of which He knew not the effects, 
the production of that species must have been originally con- 
templated by Ilim as one of its effects ; so that the charge of 
paltriness would be only carried back from the creation of the 
animal, to the prior origination of the supposed law which 
produced it.~ Besides, who shall undertake to graduate a scale 
of great and Uttle things for the Deity ? Tliis is to " antliro- 
jiomorphize"^ God ; to assimilate Him to a poor earthly poten- 
tate who has to save his artificial dignity by a constant com- 
pliance with etiquette ; who retains caste not so much by doing, 
as by not doing. In comparison with infinite greatness, every- 
tiiing is little ; the entire creation — not any of its parts mere- 
ly — infinitely little. It is only as those parts belong to an 
all-comprehendi,ng plan, that their existence is to be account- 
ed lor. Apart from that plan, the noblest parts of the uni 
verse, and even the universe as a whole, is utterly insignificant. 
But viewed as an integral part of that plan, nothing is insigni- 
ficant. It is an all-related part of a system which hallows all 
which it encloses, and ennobles all that it employs. 

8. The preceding objection belongs to an anthropomorphiz- 
ing view of the Divine dignity. There is another, which 
springs from a similar view of the Divine ability, viewed in 

* Vestiges, etc., p. 164. Third Edit. 

^ So when others, instead of dispassionately arguing the question, aim 
to stigmatise the docti'ine of creative interpositions by affirming that it 
represents the Creator as " mending" His own work, they forget that the 
atheiyt may fasten the same epithet on their own view of the subject. 
For if the creation exhibits change and progress, it matters not to him 
Avhether the change aud progress, (and this is all that is meant by the 
" mending,") be said to be effected by the natural operation of a law 
.originally appointed by the Creator, or by the direct agency of the Law- 
giver ; whether it be mended, or be self-mending. " Why," he will ask, 
" should any mending, change, or progress be necessary ? Even if it take 
place according to natural law, still, as you profess to believe that law to 
have been of Divine appointment, you only remove the diflBiculty involved, 
from the God of providence to the God of creation." 

^ Vestiges, etc., p. 147. 


analogy with the powers of a human artist. It expresses it- 
self thus — the theory of God's perpetual agency does not ap- 
pear to afford such exalted views of the Divine power and 
skill as that which represents him as originating a law, or 
creating a vast mechanism, capable of self-activity and devel- 
opment, for as long a period as he might choose to keep aloof 
from it. Hence, we are assured that " it is the narrowest of 
all views of the Deity, and characteristic of a humble class of 
intellects, to suppose him constantly acting in particular ways 
for particular occasions."^ We reply, that such a supposition 
is a figment of the author's own, if (as it would appear) he 
imagines, that there is no alternative between it and liis own 
theory. Our own view expressly provides against both. We 
will add, that to suppose the Deity not capable of acting in the 
manner described, if He please, and of acting thus without 
distraction, " is the narrowest of all views respecting Him, 
and characteristic of a humble class of intellects." And yet 
the^ only ground which is generally assigned for the theory 
which exempts Him from such action is that of exonerating 
Omnipotence from labor. Hence, it is thought to be a very un- 
fitting " mode of exercise for creative intelligence, that it should 
be constantly moving from one sphere to another."^ Here the 
a.nthropomorphism of the reasoning comes out. When man 
has constructed a, so-called,3 self-acting machine, that which 
constitutes the triumph of his powers is, that he should have 
so built it as to be himself left at liberty to be absent from it, 

' Vestiges, etc., p. 160. '^ Ibid. p. 165. 

* There is an inconsistency, " with which all those philosophers are 
justly chargeable, Avho imagine that, by likening the universe to a ma- 
chine, they get rid of the necessity of admitting the constant agency of 
powers essentially different from the known qualities of matter .... 
The falseness of the analogy appears from this, that the moving force in 
every machine is some natural power, such as gravity or elasticity : and. 
consequently, the very idea of mechanism assumes the existence of those 
active powers, of which it is the professed object of a mechanical theorv 
of the universe to give an explanation." — AS^eM;ar<'s Prel Diss, to the En. 
Brit., p. 125. Indeed, the mechanical theory cannot, in the nature of 
things, find any analogy in the universe. For man originates no motion 
whatever. In his most complicated machinery, he merely avails himself 
of pre-existing forces — properties which existed before he came into 
being. Now, the theory requires support from some analogy to these 
very properties which it assumes to be self-sustaining. But as the sup- 
posed parallelism of a piece of human mechanism fails, it can nowhere 
be found. To my own mind, the idea of a created universe existing in 
aUsolute independence of the Divine agency, is simply inconceivable. 


and to turn his attention to other obji^cts. He, a being of limit- 
ed power, has constructed a machine which does not limit or 
detain that power, but which acts independently of it. Where- 
as, in this very particular, the analogy is totally inappHcable 
to the divine Creator. His presence with one object, or in 
one place, does not imply his absence from another ; for his 
energy is omnipresent. 

Besides which, is not our admiration, in the case supposed, 
excited rather by the wondrous mechanism than by the me- 
chanist ? At all events, would not our estimation of his powers 
be greatly enhanced, if, after examining the machine which 
was supposed to work alone, we discovered that he, though 
distant from it, held secret lines of communication with it; 
that these lines, on which its activity depended, were never 
out of his hand, by night or by day ; and yet that, without any 
apparent limitation of his powers, he was occupied in the con- 
struction and movement of a similar machine elsewhere. Won- 
derful as we should deem the mechanism, we should regard 
the mechanist as more wonderful still. And the very feeling 
we are conscious of, of the impossibility of any human power 
being able to accomplish such a thing, is so much homage to 
the Divine power which can effect it. If the god of Epicurus 
had made the world, he would, doubtless, have retired from 
the cares and painstaking of sustaining and controlling it ; that 
is to say, he would have acted the part of a great human crea- 
tor. To be able, on the contrary, to originate the universe, 
and then to pervade it by an ever-present agency, unconscious 
of effort, is a perfection so far beyond our ordinary range of 
thought, so entirely unique and divine, that the mind does not 
easily reach the conception. 

9. If, however, it be said, that the theory which leaves the 
universe to work entirely alone, enhances our views of the 
skill of the Creator, much more than that which supposes His 
ever-present and all-pervading agency, it seems sufficient to 
reply, first, that the display of His skill may not be (as the 
hypothesis supposes) the only, or even the highest, end aimed 
at in creation ; and if it be not, the remark loses its force. But, 
secondly, while the skill of the Creator is sufficiently obvious, 
whichever view be taken of the present subject, it is clear also 
that the Divine skill has been actually employed, not for itself, 
but in subserviency to ulterior aims. Who can question, for 
example, the ability of the Creator to have complicated the 
proofs of His skill in the operations of nature much more than 


lie has actually done ? or to have brought the woi-ld into exis- 
tence at first in a more advanced state than He appears to 
have done ? The reason why He did not, must then have rela- 
ted to an end or ends, distinct from the mere exhibition of His 
creative skill. And, thirdly, we can easily conceive of such 
ends, and shall have hereafter to enlarge on them ; ends analo- 
gous to those, for example, attained by the family constitution, 
in which He has been pleased to arrange that the children shall 
not be born into a state of independence, (which they might 
deem the highest display of Divine skill) but that they shall 
owe their best advantages to the benevolent provision which 
keeps them dependent for years on their parents. 

10. We entertain the belief, then, of the pervading agency 
of the Divine Being throughout the material universe, not in 
exclusion of, but in addition to, the doctrine of primary 
appointment ; for He does that which He decrees. We believe 
this, because there are no valid objections to be urged against 
the view which do not lie equally against the theory of devel- 
opment by natural law ; because the idea of an entirely self- 
sustaining universe is destitute of all true analogy ; because 
we cannot conceive of a self-sustaining universe, any more 
than we can of a self-originated creation — dependence is its 
characteristic in relation to time, as much so as in its relation 
to space ; and because (if the question is to be argued on the 
ground of what may be most honorable to the Divine perfec- 
tions) we deem the view which represents the material uni- 
verse as directly dependent on the Divine agency, more exalt- 
ing to God than that which views the universe as released 
from such dependence ; not to say that the reasoning which 
" compliments " Him out of the material universe not unfre- 
quently ends in excluding Him from the throne of His moral 

Other reasons in corroboration of this view will come to 
light as we proceed. For the present, it may suffice to suggest 
to the believer in Divine revelation, first, that the opposite 
view, if it does not necessarily deny the existence of t\\t 
Divine attributes, denies, at least, their objective exercise — 
representing the Omniscient as if he saw nothing, the Omni- 
present as if he were universally absent, and the Omnipotent as 
doing nothing. And, secondly, it seems impossible to har- 
monize such, an abandonment of the universe to natural laws, 
with the testimony of Scripture, and with the evidence of geol- 
ogy to successive creations. 


11. If to this it is replied that the Divine Being is not sup- 
posed to detach himself entirely from the universe, that he is 
yet regarded as being " virtually present in the natural woiid 
by a providential inspection and superintendence "^ of it, we 
can only add, that this seems to fall very little, if anything, 
short of the ever-present and pervading agency which we 
advocate. At least, the arguments which would establish such 
a relation of the Deity to the material universe, as amounts to 
a virtual presence with it, a constant i7ispectw?i and actual super- 
intendence of it, and the necessity for such an agency, would go 
far to establish the sustaining and pervading nature of that 
agency. And this, apparently near approach to the admission 
of such an agency, in the very act of denying it — a not un- 
frequent thing — only shows the difficulty of siying how much 
more or less relatively we affirm in a proposition of our own, 
unless we knew precisely how much is denied in the contrary 
position of another. 

12. Before proceeding to the next law, let me recall atten- 
tion to the important distinction which has now been disclosed 
to us, between the relations of matter to space and to time. One 
important distinction is disclosed to us under the law relating 
to necessary truth — the distinction between the subjective and 
the objective ; the infinite mind and the created universe ; the 
latter presupposing the former, having existed potentially 
in the mind of God before it existed objectively as a purpose 
realized. Here, we are called to regard the twofold relation 
which He sustains to it as it is viewed in connection with 
space and time. As it is regarded contemporaneously, or irre- 
spective of time, and in relation only to space, He is its crea- 
tor ; but as it is viewed in relation, not only to space but to 
time, or as successively existent. He is its preserver. Creation 
introduces us to auniverse of objects ; Providence to a uni- 
verse of objects and events. By the first originating act, 
matter was made to take possession of space, as an objective 
reality ; a moment after, and it had taken possession of time, 
as objective and successive. 

13. But if this distinction be well founded, it follows that 

the properties and the distribution of matter, as constituted by 


' Jones's Philosophy, quoted in a note in Tateham's " Chart and Scale 
of Truth;" one of the Bampton Lectures, vol. i. p. 169. So also Boyle, 
while comparing the universe to avast machine, vet speaks of it as " man- 
aged by certain laws of motion, and upheld hij His ordinary and (jeneral 
concour$ey — Inquiry into the Vulgar Notion of Nature. 



creation, are distinguishable from the laws of matter as contin- 
ued by Providence. The constitution of matter placed it in 
relation to space ; the sequences of matter, in relation to time. 
True, we may know nothing of the properties but by the opera- 
tion of the laws ; nothing of the constitution of matter as crea- 
ted, except as disclosed by the sequences of matter as contin- 
ued ; just as the constitution of the mind may be known only 
as manifested in its operations. But as the laws or operations 
of the mind presuppose its constitution, so the sequences of 
matter presuppose the properties or constitution originally 
given to it. 


Necessary truth. — The existence and motion of the material 
masses imply the existence of necessary truth. Supposing that 
we had received and sustained the sublime and complicated 
impressions derivable from the contemplation of the new-made 
universe, what would have been the legitimate operations and 
consequent state of our minds ? 

^ 1. We could not have beheld the unorganized masses, 
either as coming, or as come, into existence, without regarding 
the change as an effect. Nor could we have come into contact 
with a small portion of one of these masses, and have put it 
into motion by an act of muscular exertion, without regarding 
the cause of all the motion we saw around us as something 
more than a mere antecedent to it ; as an efficient connection 
or power — an energy which has had a real operation. 

We could not have contemplated these masses without per- 
ceiving that they were things distinct from ourselves, without 
us, external to us : but, our apprehending them as without us, 
takes for granted their existence in space. We could not, by 
sight, and touch, and muscular extension, have ascertained that 
they had figure, without perceiving their relations to space; 
for the line of one dimension, the plane of two, and the solid 
body of three dimensions, are all modifications of the concep- 
tion of space. We could not have thought of space as the 
negation of all these things ; as existing only that other things 
may exist in it ; or as a condition mthout which the masses 
themselves could not exist ; without regarding it as infinite in 
all its dimensions, and as indestructible. AVe could not have 
ascertained their figure, and externahty, and solidity, without 
''eeling that they existed independently of us, so that no act of 


our mind could make or destroy them. And as we should have 
perceived that these properties and special relations of the 
masses depended not on our perception of them, so we should 
have perceived that if these things themselves had never exist- 
ed, the portions of space which they now occupy, would have 
borne the same relations to infinite space which the things 
themselves actually do — i. e., that the two sides of a triangle 
would have been greater than the third, even if there had 
never been a material triangle. 

3. We could not have thought of the creation as new, or in 
connection with its former non-existence, or have marked its 
prcgressiveness, without being conscious of a sense of success- 
iveness, or of time. Nor could we have reflected on time, as 
that in which both our perceptions and their objects exist, 
without feeling that time itself is independent of both. The 
first stage of creation, then, as far as it exhibited the existence 
of matter in motion, involved, at least, three necessary truths. 
For we cannot conceive of succession, without time ; of body, 
without space ; nor of effect, without the power which caused 
it — i. e., a Being or Substance potential to the effect produced. 
Time, space, power, are necessary ideas. All phenomena pre- 
suppose them ; are not intelligible without them. They them- 
selves cannot be resolved into anything antecedent ; have no 
conceivable conditions ; but exist independently, and as the 
conditions of everything else. 

4. Here, an important distinction comes to light. While 
space is only the condition of body, and time of motion, 'power ^ 
as we have implied, is not only the condition, hut the cause of 
both. As condition, it could not but be ; as cause, its existence 
was contingent on the Divine will. As condition, it was from 
eternity ; as cause, it commenced the succession of measurable 
time. As condition, it is a property of the infinite Substance — 
an attribute of the Divine Nature ; as cause, it is the objective 
manifestation of that property, the creating exercise of that 
attribute. As condition, its activity from eternity was only 
subjective ; as cause, its activity becomes objective also. Here, 
then, we have the subjective and the objective ; for that which 
was possible has become real. What must that be, to which 
the real has always been possible ? and what is that which, 
having been only possible, has now become real ? What are 
the relations between the two ? or, how do they co-exist ? This 
is the domain of ontology — the doctrine which relates to the 
Substance of beino;. 



Secular CJiange. — But will this stage of the Divine opera- 
tions he sooner or later succeeded hy another ? For, according 
to one of our principles, the production of new effects, or the 
introduction of new laws, will be itself a law of the manifesta- 
tion. For, were it to terminate at any given point, the proof 
of the Divine all-sufficiency for unlimited manifestation would 
terminate with it. Besides which, all-sufficiency, from its 
very nature, requires infinity and eternity in which to be de- 
veloped ; for it implies sufficiency for nothing less than these. 
If, then, the development of the Great Purpose be in its very 
nature progressive, this is only saying that the process must 
ever be kept open to receive the addition of new effects, or the 
superinduction of new laws. 

1. Now, however, a new — an analogical ground for expect- 
ing an additional stage in the Divine operations has come to 
light. For, as we have seen, the activity of the primitive ma- 
terial universe has itself been the activity o^ progression. Nor 
can we imagine ourselves surveying this activity of progres- 
sion, without more than suspecting that we are looking on the 
successive steps of a scene preparatory for a new stage of the 
Divine Plan. All that we behold — complicated and stupen- 
dous as it is — is only the play of inorganic matter, unconscious 
of its own existence and activity. The Divine Purpose and 
the Divine procedure alike combine to point us to the future. 

2. The preceding section reminds us of the great principle 
that the law of ever-enlarging manifestation to which it relates 
is itself regulated hy a laiv determining the time and manner 
of each successive stage of the advancing process. In the origi- 
nal sta,tement of this law, I remarked, that the time for this 
change in any given department of the Divine Manifestation, 
will of course be determined in a maimer, and for a reason, 
differing with the particular nature and design of the depart- 
ment : — first, by each existing stage passing through all the 
combinations and changes of which it admits, before another 
begins ; or, secondly, by its existing long enough to show that 
it involves all the necessary possibilities for answering such 
and such ends, if its continuance were permitted ; or, thirdly, 
until it has sufficiently taught the specific truth, and attained 
the proximate and particular end, for which it was originated. 

But, whatever the particular reason for determining the pe- 
riod of change may be, it is evident that the law of the time 


and the occasion for every change must harmonize with the 
Great End of the whole — the manifestation of tlie Divine All- 
sufficiency. For, were a stage of the manifestation to be re- 
called or replaced a moment before it had, in some loay, de- 
monstrated the all-sufficiency of God for that particular stage, 
the Great Purpose would not be answered. 

From which it follows that no such change or interposition 
takes place arbitrarily, but, as the laws of progression, and of 
the end, require it. 

And that the length of ^he time wdiich may be allowed to 
elapse, after the introduction of one law or change, before the 
introduction of another, so far from growing into an objection 
against any further addition or change, becomes, in a progres- 
sive system, an ever-increasing ground for expecting it. 

3. Even those who advocate the natural-development hy- 
pothesis, cannot consistently entertain any valid objection 
against this law. For, even if the great changes which have 
marked the progress of the material universe have been, as 
they imagine, only the development of a law, or laws, origi- 
nally impressed on matter, all these changes must have been 
foreseen — must have been actually included in the plan of the 
glorious Deity. But if their occurrence was designed, for the 
same reason that they were designed to occur at all, there 
must have been a right time for their occurrence. And this 
13 the substance of the law^ now under consideration. 

4. What was it, then, which made the time thus divinely 
selected, the appropriate time for a distinct advance in the 
great process ? We have said that '^ no such change takes 
place arbitrarily ; but, as the laws of progression and of the 
end require it." Here, then, is a two-fold law to be satisfied: 

Now, the requirement of the law of progression, in the pre- 
sent instance, is obvious ; — the event declared it. The inor- 
ganic world was designed by the Divine Creator to become 
tiie scene of organic forms — of life. When, therefore, the 
earth had passed through such foreseen changes, and - had at- 
tained to such a condition, as adapted it to the existence of or- 
ganic life, the law of progression might be expected, in har- 
mony with the Divine Plan, to receive a new illustration. 
" The proximate end of the origination of this earth had been 
attained." It was in a state to become the means for the at- 
tainment of another particular end, if the Divine Creator 
chose so to employ it. 

i). But is tills the apDropriate time for the change, accord- 


ing to the law of the end ? That is to say, aditiitting that thi 
design of the creation and maintenance of the material uni- 
verse is to manifest the Divine Omnipotence, is that ultimate 
end, in any sense, attained ? Evidently, the first of the condi- 
tions of its attainment, v.hich I have specified, is not fulfilled ; 
— inorganic matter has not " passed through all the combina- 
tions and changes of which it admits." Vast and complicated 
as they have been, they are still in progress. And as long as 
the earth continues, these changes will go on multiplying. 
And who shall say whether, before the material system reaches 
a close, it will not have passed through all the great changes 
and combinations of which it admits ? If, as the existence of 
a resisting medium implies, the period will come — immeasura- 
bly distant in the depths of futurity as it may be — when the 
planetary system, in its present form, will come to an end, 
who shall say that by that inconceivably remote period, the con- 
dition in question may not be literally fulfilled ? Possibly, the 
limit of planetary existence, and the fulfilment of this condition 
are destined to coincide. The proof of the Divine All-suffi- 
ciency, for upholding the worlds Avhich He had made, through 
all the great combinations and changes of which they severally 
admitted, would then be historically worked out and completed. 
Possibly, too, this awful crisis of the material system will ar- 
rive, only to be followed by its reconstruction in other forms, 
and for other ends, and for other immeasurable cycles. Solemn 
as these conceptions are, doubtless, something analogous, and 
as solemn, awaits our contemplation in relation to the material 
system, in the distant future. 

6. But if the first of the conditions specified had not, — and, 
from the nature of the Divine Plan, could not have been com- 
plied with, at the time of the change, had the second condition 
been fulfilled ? That is, were the creation of the inorganic 
universe, and the mighty changes which it had passed through, 
taken in connection too with the changes which it was yet to 
be conducted through prior to the arrival of man, sufficient to 
warrant the inference of the omnipotence of the" Divine Crea- 
tor ? Let it be observed that the question is not whether Om- 
ni})otence had demonstrated its existence by doing all that it 
could do ; by exhausting itself, so to speak, in its acts of physi- 
cal creation. Yet this is the kind of evidence of the Divine 
Power which many persons inconsiderately suppose them- 
selves entitled to look for. Whereas the existence of such 
evidence is not only inconceivable in itself, but, as we have be- 


fore shown, would, if it were possible for it to be realized, 
'defeat the very end of its existence. For, the attainment of 
that end — the display of omnipotence in the eyes of linite in- 
telligence—requires that the display be progressive; that it 
include displays of power other than the creation of mere in- 
organic matter, and additional to it ; — this is implied in ttie 
supposed existence of the finite intelligences themselves ; and 
that it include power equal to every crisis that may occur in 
in the system created — otherwise it would be objected that 
proof of all-sufiiciency was w^inting in a most vital point. 
Accordingly, the manifestation of the Divine Power is still in 
progress ; Power, not for the production of physical effects 
only, but for the attainment of other and higher ends. The 
manifestation of the Divine Wisdom, or Goodness, does not 
terminate that of Power ; they co-exist and co-operate to- 
gether. The question is, therefore, w^hether the creation of 
the material system, and the series of changes in it which we 
have referred to, furnish an adequate illustration, of the kind, 
of the Divine omnipotence. 

7. That the power of God had demonstrated its sufficiency 
for the production of certain effects is evident ; for these ef- 
fects had taken place. But had all the effects taken place, 
which, under the circumstances, might have been expected ? 
Novel as this question may be, and unanswerable, in a defi- 
nite and categorical respect, as it must be, it appears to me 
that it involves that proof of all-sufiaciency of which w^e speak, 
and that an approximation to a satisfactory reply is by no 
means impossible. In order, indeed, to a reply arithmetically 
accurate, it would be requisite — in reference to the earth, for 
example — to know (setting aside the power necessary for the 
origination of its material) how^ many changes that material 
could pass through, and the length of time necessary for the 
process. That is, w^e must know the number of the simple 
substances of which it is composed ; the properties of each sub- 
stance — its density, gravity, cohesion, elasticity, its relations to 
heat, electricity, and magnetism, together with all its chemical 
affinities ; and the definite amount of each substance included 
in its constitution. With these data in our possession, we 
must determine the number of terrestrial changes possible ; 
and then, having ascertained the lapse of time from the Great 
Originating Act to the period of which we speak, and the num- 
ber of the terrestrial changes during the interval, we should 
l)e in a condition to furnish an answer to the (juesiion pro- 


8. Now, although such a reply, with our present limited 
means and powers, is not attainable, an approximation to the* 
truth, sufficiently near, is not impossible. If it should appear, 
for exam])le, that, of tlie number of terrestrial changes possi- 
ble, a vast variety had taken place prior to the production of 
organic forms, and between that period again and the creation 
of man ; that the number of inorganic changes which have 
since occurred, are as nothing in the comparison ; and that the 
degree of all subsequent changes is as insignificant as the num- 
ber ; we may safely infer in favor of the affirmative of our 
question. If it should appear probable that the number and 
variety of our terrestrial changes are only a specimen of simi- 
lar changes through which worlds and systems, beyond our 
powers of calculation, have been variously conducted from the 
beginning, the athrmative reply will be still further warranted. 
And if it should be made probable that cosmical changes, in 
every stage of revolution, and on a scale beyond our powers 
of conception, are still in process — what more could be desired 
to complete our conviction of the sufficiency of the Divine 
Power for the number of the physical changes in question ? 

9. That evidence of the truth of these suppositions exists in 
abundance will, doubtless, be freely admitted. Astronomy as- 
sures us of vast nebulous objects, exhibiting '• no regularity of 
outline, no systematic gradation of brightness," and suggesting 
the idea that they arc awaiting the slow process of aggregation 
into masses ; as if on purpose to show the all-sufficiency of the 
Creator. The regions of space are inhabited by countless 
worlds and systems ; exhibiting indications of an endless va- 
riety of color, density, magnitude, motion, relative positio3i 
and mutual dependence, as If for tlie sake of showing the 
boundless resources of the Divine Pov/er. Proofs of geologi- 
cal revolutions, in number not yet ascertained, if at all ascer- 
tainable, and in degree beyond all computation, are placed by 
the hand of God within the crust of the earth, as if in order 
to challenge our unquestioning faith in his all-sufliciency. 
Traces ofa long and bewildering succession of changes, to the 
number, variety, and extent of which the imagination has 
never yet done justice, are there stored up, as if expressly 
that man might see and believe. The amount of evidence of 
the Divine sufficiency for all the terrestrial changes which 
might have been expected, is not merely adequate for convic- 
tion. For such a purpose, it exists in excess. It carries the 
mind into the future; awakening the idea that it is the design 


of Omnipotence to conduct the eartli, the material universe, 
through all the changes of which it admits ; to occupy s})ace 
without limit in unfolding the universe of matter, and duration 
without end in unfolding its properties by a succession of ever- 
varying change ; and thus to display the sufficiency of His 
own power as the Originator and Sustainer of the whole. 

10. The second condition of the law now under considera- 
tion, then, had been satisfied — the earth had existed long 
enough to justify the inference that the power which had 
shown itself sufficient for conducting it through all the changes 
of which it exhibits the evidence, is all-sufficient for every 
change of which the earth admits. Had the evidence of this 
truth been incomplete, when, according to the law of progres- 
sion, the earth had become adapted to human life, I believe 
that the law of progression would have waited for the comple- 
tion. Hazardous as this sentiment may appear, it is only af- 
firming that the means would have been subordinated to the 
end; that one proximate end could not be sacrificed to another, 
without losing sight of the great and ultimate end. But, when 
it is remembered that we are speaking of the procedure of 
* God only wise,' all appearance of hazard vanishes ; for " see- 
ing the end from the beginning," He makes all his operations 
harmoniously coincide, rendering the attainment of one part of 
his design 'the fulness of time' for commencing the attainment 
of another. 


Reason of the Method. — All the preceding laws relate, as I 
conceive, to the method of the Divine procedure. And, as far 
as we have gone, we have seen their apphcation to the first 
department of that procedure — the inorganic universe. 

The Reason for this method remains to be considered. It 
will be found, I submit, to be twofold. The first part is found- 
ed in the constitution of the beings by whom the method is to 
be studied, and involves the well-being of the creature ; the 
second is founded in the destiny of the creature, and involves, 
in addition, the ultimate end of the whole — the glory of God. 
The reason relates, therefore, to the law, that the beings to 
whom the manifestation is to be made, and by' whom it is to bo 
underslwd, appreciated, and voluntarily promoted, must be con- 
stituted in harmony with these laws ; or, these laws <f the objec- 
tive xmiversi will he found to have been established in j^rospective 


harmony with the designed constitution, and the destiny of the 
subjective mind which is to expound and to profit by them. My 
remarks on the apparent reason for the Divine method must 
be, for the present, comparatively brief; on the obvious ground 
that we have not yet reached the human dispensation, or exam- 
ined the constitution of man, and that, consequently, all we may 
now advance anticipates our consideration of that subject, or 
presupposes the knowledge of it. 

1. Were it proper to enlarge on the law which I have just 
quoted, it would be easy and interesting to trace the harmony 
and coincidence of the constitution of the material universe 
with the constitution of the human mind. For the present, 
however, it will suffice to remark generally, first, that if the 
organic universe is to be understood by man, and to prove con- 
ducive to his well-being, it must be constructed according to a 
plan. Here we perceive, at a glance, a reason for that law of 
uniformity, without which man would possess his powers of 
observation in vain, and creation would be only and truly ' a 
fortuitous concourse of atoms :' — and for that law of all-con 
necting relationship, without which induction would be impos 
sible, and inquiry would be constantly baffled and brought tc 
a pause, but owing to which man is ever ascending to liighei 
and wider generalizations, and an endless multitude of parts 
become a united whole : — and for that law of analogy, without 
which he could not take even a first inductive step, for nature 
would furnish him with no hint respecting the direction in 
which he should proceed ; but by which he now possesses a 
clue for threading its most intricate labyrinths, and finds him- 
self satisfactorily rising from physical science to natural theol- 
ogy, and thence to the domain of Revelation. 

Without the laws in question, observation, experience, sci- 
ence, life itself, would be impossible. But, with them, matter 
becomes the educator of mind ; aids in revealing it to itself, and 
in preparing it for higher revelations. While these lav/s are 
not so obscure as to defy his diligence, they are not so obvious 
as to force themselves on his involuntary notice. If he will, 
he can extract their secrets, and incorporate them as oi-ganic 
parts of his systematized knowledge. In the midst of an un- 
known multitude of v/orlds, man feels himself at home ; since 
" the stars in their courses " are obedient to law. And when 
geology has led him back through an unknown succession of 
ages, he feels that he is only travelling through the ancient 
monuments of the same law, in tlie direction of the Divine 
Lciririlator himself. 


2. And, secondly, if the inorganic uni\erse is to be under- 
stood by man so as to answer the ultimate end, it must be con- 
structed in a manner calculated to refer him to an Almighty 
origin. Here, again, if we were not presupposing the knowl- 
edge of man's mental and moral constitution, we might en- 
large on tha laws of ultimate facts, and of necessary truth, 
as pointing directly to such an origin. For the present, how- 
ever, we shall limit ourselves to a remark on the single law, 
that the constitution of the material universe may be expected 
to be found contingent, or resolvable into the sovereign will of 
the Divine Creator. 

If the inorganic universe did not exhibit marks of contin- 
gent arrangement, and if man had not the power of interpret- 
ing them aright, it would not be tht means of the Divine man- 
ifestation, but would only manifest itself — disclose its own 
properties — proclaim its own nature. Instead of referring 
the human mind to God, it would literally stand between man 
and its Creator, and would tend to enclose man in its own ma- 
terial mechanism.' But we have seen that it does exhibit the 
expected signs of contingency. Its properties appear to be 
selected, and its relations to be instituted. Properties of sou'.e 
kind it must have, nor can v/e conceive it to be destitute of 
every kind of relation ; but it cannot be shown that the actujd 
properties were absolutely necessary, nor that the actual rela- 
tions might not have been modilied without end. On the con- 
trary, choice, adaptation, and adjustment, are everywhere vlsihlo; 
and the mere facts that matter, though not capable of its own 
creation, should yet be found in existence ; and though uncon- 
scious, should yet exhibit a scientifically arranged constitution, 
sufficiently point to the Divinity of its origin. 

3. Here, then, we see the twofold reason for the chosen 
method of the Divine manifestation. Let the evidence that 
the power displayed in the material universe is His power sink 
below a certain degree, and man will be excusable for " wor- 
shipping the creature rather than the Creator." Let the evi- 
dence rise beyond a certain degree, and conviction will not 
be optional, nor voluntary adoration possible. The Divine 
method provides against each dangej'. If man will, he may 

' Design implies freedom of choice ; natural law means, as employed 
by matei'ialists, a necessity. The feet of design may be inferred from 
any degree of regularity, however imperfect, which cannot rensonably bo 
ascribed to chance. The establishment of a single ejcception is fatal to 
the hypothesis of a natural or necessary law. 


make that uniformity of naturp, without which there would be 
no evidence of the Divine power, the very occasion of forget- 
ting and denying such power ; or, if he will, he may make it 
the°occasion of ascending to the proofs of that contingency and 
appointment on which the uniformity itself depends. The 
constitution of the material system told of an Almighty maker, 
in a way which foretold a race of intelligent and accountable 


The ultimate Bnd. — We are led to expect that both the Imvs 
of the method, and the reason of it, will find their ultimate end, 
in relation to this stage of the Divine Procedure, in contrihut- 
ing to prove the all-sufficiency of the power of God. 

1. In our remarks on this subject, under the first law, we 
have stated distinctly that we do not claim for this opening 
stage a display of power exclusively, but preeminently. God 
himself is often found, in His word, appealing to the creation 
of the material system, as his own chosen proof of power. 
We remarked also that we were not then about to infer the 
extent of the power displayed in the material creation, whether 
it be limited or unlimited. Nor do we now say that this open- 
ing stage mathematically demonstrates the absolute infinity of 
the Divine power. If it did so, all the illustrations of power 
derivable from the subsequent stages of the Divine Procedure, 
would, as further evidence, be superfluous ; for the proofs have 
been accumulating ever since, whereas we are only as yet 
dealing, by supposition, with the opening proof. And, we con- 
ceive, that as the metaphysically adequate proof of infinite 
power must itself be infinite, the only possible manner in which 
•t can be furnished to finite beings, is by a progressive accu- 
mulation through infinite duration ; and therefore can only be 
always in process. But we can conceive, also, of such a dis- 
play of power within a space and a time not absolutely unlim- 
ited, as should furnish beings capable of reasoning from anal- 
ogy, with ample, superabundant evidence of power unlimited. 
Such exercise of power we believe to have been displayed 
in the primary stage of creation. 

2. Now, in order to fill our imagination for awhile with this 
illustration of the Divine Power, let us glance at the nature 
and magnitude of the vast system to which the earth belongs. 
And the point from which we might most advantageously stai't 


would be an elementary atom. But vrhere shall it be found? 
Animalcules — organized beings possessing life and all its es- 
sential functions — are in some cases so minute that a million 
of them would occupy less than a grain of sand. A grain of 
musk will continue to yield odour, to throw off an incalculable 
number of particles of matter, for twenty years, without any 
sensible diminution of its weight. Yet, on apparently conclu- 
sive grounds, it may be inferred that matter is not infinitely 
divisible. For the present, however, science must be content 
with an inference. 

But it matters little that we cannot begin with a strictly in- 
divisible atom ; since, even if we could, the combination of as 
many of these as go to form a microscopic insect might baffle 
all our powers of arithmetic. Let us begin with one of these 
living atoms ; and, remembering that every particle of which 
it is composed is a production of Almighty power, and that a 
million of these will only equal the size of a grain of sand, — 
according to Ehrenberg, a cubic inch of the tripoli of Bilin 
contains 40,000 millions of the siliceous coverings of the Gali- 
onelliB, — let us try to conjecture how many of these grains 
would equal a cubical mile of rock ; and then recollect, that to 
equal the size of the earth we must accumulate 263,858,149, 
120 such masses. 

3. Immense as this aggregate of matter is, when compared 
with the entire solar system it dwindles to a point. The mass 
of the sun itself is 354,936 times that of the earth, so that were 
its centre brought to the centre of the earth, it would not only 
fill up the orbit of the moon, but would extend nearly as far 
again. But this is nothing compared with the mass of some 
of the stars. Who can conjecture the magnitude of a body 
which would fill the vast orbit of the earth ! But, though our 
mean distance from the sun is ninety-five milhons of miles, and 
that of Uranus about nineteen times greater, or 1,800,000,000 
miles, the bright star in Lyra has a diameter which, it has 
been said, would nearly fill even that orbit. 

Among the planetary nebulae there are masses so enormous, 
that, according to the computation of Sir John Herschel, if 
they are as far from us as the stars, their real magnitude, on 
the lowest estimation, must be such as would fill the orbit of 
Uranus ; while among the nebulous stars there are some of 
dimensions so vast — not improbably systems of stars — that 
were ont> of them in the place of the sun, its atmosphere would 


not merely include the orbit of Uranus, but would extend eigbl 
times beyond it. 

4. In the presence of such masses, indeed, the moon, the 
earth itself, may be omitted as an inappreciable quantity, and 
the space occupied by our system be passed by as an unassign- 
able point. But the estimate is hardly yet begun The milky 
way derives its brightness from the diffused light of bodies 
each of which may be equal to that of Lyra, and of which 
50,000 passed through the field of Sir W. Herschel's telescope 
in an hour : 2500 nebuloe, and clusters of stars, have been ob- 
served by Sir John Herschel ; and an unknown number more 
remain to be observed. Li some of those which he has ex- 
amined, " ten or twenty thousand stars appear compacted or 
wedged together in a space not larger than a tenth part of 
that covered by the moon, and presenting in its centre one 
blaze of light." The number of the distinguishable telescopic 
stars of the milky way has been estimated at eighteen millions. 
But beyond the milky way of stars, and almost at right angles 
with it, there is a milky way of nebuke. A nearer approach 
might resolve these into clustered myriads of stars, and reveal 
another milky way beyond. 

5. Let us try to imagine the distance of one of the star- 
clusters in the nearer milky way. The earth, we have said, is 
ninety-five millions of miles from the sun. Uranus is nineteen 
times further. The great comet of 1680 recedes about forty 
times farther than Uranus, or about twenty times beyond the 
orbit of Neptune; and requires, according to Encke, 8,800 
years for its revolution. The nearest fixed star is supposed to 
be 250 times farther from the sun than this comet at its great- 
est distance, while the star <? Centauri is 11,000 times, the star 
61 Cygni is 31,000 times, and the star o, Lyrae is 41,600 times 
more distant than Uranus ; so that light travelling at the rate 
of about 170,000 miles a second, would be three years, nine 
months and a quarter, and twelve years, in reaching us from 
these bodies, respectively. But if each of the stars in a neb- 
ulous cluster be a sun, and if they be separated by intervals 
equal to that which separates our sun from the nearest fixed 
star, light would require thousands of years in order to reach 
us from such a distance. " The rays of light of the remotest 
nebuliB must have been about two millions of years on their 
way." i They are therefore, as Humboldt remarks, " the voices 

' Sir W. Herscliel, in tlie Transact, for 1802, p. 498, Sir J. Herschel's 
Astr. § 590. 

INORGANIC natukp:. 123 

of t]i'3 ])ast vvliich reiich us. It has been well said, .'hat with 
our mighty telescopes we penetrate at once into space and in'.o 
time. Much has long disappeared from those disizint regions 
hefore it vanishes from our view, and much has been newly 
arranged before it becomes visible to us." But were the means 
of vision which enable us to behold that remote point to be 
doubled, who can imagine that we should not see other clusters 
burning at a great distance beyond it, as it is beyond us ; and 
that were we to be transported to that remoter system, \vq 
should not behold similar unterminated collections of suns ar.d 
systems as far beyond ? 

6. But if such are the distances which intervene, the quan- 
tity of matter of which the sidereal heavens is composed, lost 
though we are in the greatness of the estimate, bears a A^ery 
small proportion to the immensity of space. There are vast 
" openings in heaven," desolate and starless regions. " Large 
as the bodies are, the distances which separate them are im- 
measurably greater." But even this space is not a void. It 
appears to be traversed in all directions by light, and heat, and 

7. If we are lost in adoration of the Power which had only 
to say to this space, " Be filled," and it was occupied, what can 
we think of the Being who maintains every atom of the wdiole 
in constant yet harmonious activity ! We might remind our- 
selves of the muscular force necessary to hurl a stone of a 
pound weight to the distance of a hundred yards, or to draw 
it to us ; of the force requisite to project a cannon ball of 50 
pounds weight w^ith a velocity of a thousand miles an hour ; 
but, m the same time, the earth woves G8,000 miles. Jupiter, 
equal in weight to 1,400 earths, moves with a velocity of 29,- 
000 miles an hour. The rate of Mercury is 107,000 miles an 
hour. The velocity of the comet of 1680, is estimated at 880,- 
000 miles in an hour. The annual motion of 61 Cygni is a hun- 
dred and twenty millions of milhons of miles, and yet, as M. 
Arago remarks, we call it a fixed star ! Such is its distance ! 
But this is only a single motion of a single body. Besides the 
rotation of the earth on its OAvn axis, and its annual motion, in 
common with the other planets, around the sun, there is ground 
to believe that the whole of the solar system itself is moving 
together in one direction ; and beyond this, that the entire un- 
iverse of stars is revolving around a common centre, in an orbit 
so vast, that no measurable arc, in no calculable period of du- 
ration, would ever appear otherwise to uri than a straight line. 


Aiid what if that common centre be, as some think, a mass 
of matter bearing the same relation and proportion to the whole 
circulating universe as our sun does to its attendant planets — 
then is the view which we have hitherto taken of the quantity 
of matter in the universe reduced to utter insignificance. But 
whatever the merit of this supposition may be, the new and 
more enlarged impression which it gives us of the quantity of 
matter falls immeasurably below the sublime reality. 

8. Here, in quick succession, our sight abandons the ground 
to our powers of calculation ; our numbers fail, and resign the 
subject to imagination ; and even imagination sinks, and seeks 
relief in exclamations of wonder, or in the silence of profound 
adoration. And yet the whole of this universal system of 
masses, vast beyond all that the eye can take in ; speeding in 
every direction, with a velocity beyond all that arithmetic oan 
calculate ; through realms of space beyond all that the mind 
can conceive, is stable as the throne of God. If in the mate- 
rial universe there be one point of absolute repose, it is in that 
common centre of creation to which we have adverted. 

9. Now, suppose we had been able to look on the great pro- 
cess on a much larger scale than we can at present ; to place 
ourselves so as to obtain a view of these worlds, systems of 
worlds, collections of systems, in all the variety, velocity, and 
extent of their motions, what must have been our reasonable 
conclusions respecting the energy of the Divine Creator. Up 
♦o that period we should have lived, by the very nature of the 
Hypothesis, in an empty, objectless universe; and we could 
not have beheld the numberless unorganized masses of matter 
rolling around us, where all had once been vacuity, without re- 
garding the change as an effect, and the Cause, or the Being, 
who had produced it, as possessed of a power, to us, unlimited. 

10. If, now, the question, to which we have already adverted, 
should be asked, whether or not the proper infinity of the Di- 
vine Power could be justly inferred from even this display of 
it — a display which, though indefinitely vast, must be necessa- 
rily limited ? — it may be proper for the present, to submit tlie 
following considerations. 

It is freely admitted, as before, that in the eye of strict a 
posteriori reasoning, a given mechanical effect implies only 
the operation of a mechanical cause adequate to the produc- 
tion. Beyond this, we admit, that the a posteriori argument, 
from effect to cause, cannot, by itself, demonstrate, respecting 
any cause, that it is the First Cause. " Though every true 


step made in this philosophy {physical science) brings us," says 
Newton, "not immediately to the knowledge of the First Cause, 
yet it brings us nearer to it, and on that account it is to be highly 
valued." ^ It is always conducting us in that direction, but can 
never certify us respecting any cause with which it has pro- 
perly to do, that there is not another cause beyond. 

11. But here, without stopping to examine whether or not 
an exclusively a posteriori argument be possible ; whether, 
even in the present instance, it does not start with an a priori 
postulate, or belief — we have to remind the mquiver, first, that 
we are not speaking of a mechanical cause, but of an intelli- 
gent pei:sonal agent. " We must include a distinct personal 
consciousness of causation in the enumeration of that sequence 
of events by which the volition of the mind is made to termi- 
nate in the motion of material objects." '^ The cause and the 
eifect are not homogeneous. The most, therefore, which he 
can affirm, is, that if the created effect be limited, the personal 
Creating Cause may be limited also ; language which imphes 
that He may not be limited ; and, that if the effect be only of 
a physical nature, the Personal Cause may not be equally ad- 
equate to produce effects of any other kinds ; language, again, 
which implies that He may be adequate ; and we know that 
He has since proved it. A material cause is measured by the 
effect, an intelligent cause is only proclaimed. 

12. Secondly, it is to be remarked, that this necessary limi- 
tation of the a posteriori argument is a tacit confession of its 
own incompetence and insufficiency, except within the circle 
of mere mechanical causes and' effects. It professes to trace 
only the operation of laws, not to account for their origination. 
By this very confession, that its materials are not self-contain- 
ed and self-sufficient, but derived, it refers the inquirer to a 
source of derivation beyond themselves. By acknowledging 
its own inefficacy, it emphatically directs him to carry his ap- 
})eal from the laws of matter to the laws of mind. By exhibit- 
ing laws, it silently points to a lawgiver. The very tendency 
of the a posteriori process, in its ascent from effects to their 
apparent causes, is to awaken the idea of a First Cause. And, 
once the idea is awakened, the existence of such a Cause is 
felt to be an intellectual necessity ; the mind cannot be satis- 
fied without it. Aristotle himself has said, "All that is in 

' Optics, Query 28, p. 345. 
^ Sir J. Herschcl's Astronomy, \). 232. 


motion refers us to a mover, and it were but an endless ad- 
journment of causes were there not a primary immoveable 
Mover." That First Cause, indeed, must be immensely dif- 
ferent, both in rank and in nature, from the subordinate phy- 
sical causes to which it has imparted motion ; but still the mind 
feels the necessity for such a cause with all the force of an 
intellectual instinct. The mind was constituted to feel this 
necessity, and thus to supply the last liiik in the chain of rea- 
soning from itself, as much as it was made and meant to find 
the preceding links in the phenomena of nature. 

\6. The inquirer is to be reminded, thirdly, that in affirm- 
ing the limitation of the created universe, he is quitting his a 
fosteriori ground, and is inconsistently availing himself of an 
d priori assumption. True, he may start, on this point, from 
a posteriori ground — having observed that some parts of the 
material universe are divisible from each other ; but he can- 
not make this the basis for the inference that all parts are in 
the same predicament, without either most unphilosophically 
jumping to a conclusion, or having recourse to a priori deduc- 
tions. Certainly, observation has nothing to do with his sup- 
position. Push his inquiries as far as he may, he nowhere 
finds vacuity or a limit. All the regions of space, as far as 
he can explore them, are occupied. Could he actually look 
on the frontiers of creation, he v/ould not know that he was 
doing so ; — there might, for aught he could say, be sometliing 
beyond. But he has abandoned all thought of finding any 
confines to nature. Reasoning d priori, there must be limits ; 
for a substance divisible into parts cannot be infinite. But 
observation, and the legitimate inductions of observation, can 
exhibit no proof of limitation. 

14. We have to remind the inquirer, fourthly, that he is in 
danger of overlooking the power presupposed in the creating 
act— the act of the absolute origination of matter. lie is 
thinking only of the quantity of matter in existence, and of its 
motions. The nature of the agency necessary to call it into 
existence is lost sight of Now it seems impossible to conceive 
of that power as limited. Not only was there nothing, ex hy- 
pothesi, absolutely notliing, existing objectively to limit it ; but 
that, in this state of absolute nonentity, the Deity should have 
" called the things which were not as though they were," can 
be conceived of only as the prerogative of Omnipotence alone. 

Probably, the absolute origination of even a single atom 
would be proof demonstrative of infinite power in the eyes of 
exalted intelliijences. 


15. FijVily, the inquirer is to be reminded of the very im- 
portant fact that, on his own admission, the limitations of mat- 
ter in space originate, not in the Cause, but in the very nature 
of the thing caused — of the material medium which exhibit? 
the effect. He himself predicates of matter that it is condi- 
tioned by limits ; that its nature forbids it to be properly infi- 
nite in extension. The question arises, therefore, what series 
of effects, exhibited in a substance necessarily subject to spe- 
cial limits, he — as a being constituted to infer, from what lie 
sees, more than he sees — would deem an adequate illustration 
of uncircumscribed power? We just now intimated tliat the 
absolute origination of a single atom might be, in the estima- 
tion of superior beings, but the sole i^rerogative and the ade- 
quate proof of Omnipotence. But here is a universe of matter! 
He has no line with which to measure it. Words, numbers, 
imagination, fail, in succession, to do justice to the intermin- 
able reahty. We say, interminable; for the inquirer must 
bear in mind that our view of the Divine -power relies especially 
on the phenomena of the material universe, regarded as succes- 
sive and progressive. Now, could its unimaginable masses be 
caused to roll or rush before him, in succession ; surely he 
would not require many ages of such a survey to elapse, be- 
fore he would feel constrained to exclaim, " It is enough !" 
Here, too, is a universe of matter m motion. Let him be 
given to understand the numerical amount of the forces im- 
plied in all this activity ; surely, after the calculation had last- 
ed for ages without any prospect of termination, he could not 
ibrbear confessing, " Nothing is too hard for God !" Here is 
a universe perpetually changing in all its parts. The changes 
which our own planet has passed through imply periods of 
time beyond our computation. Let him conceive himself to 
have beheld the first change, and the next, and so on, in suc- 
cession ; surely he w^ould have exclaimed, ages, and cycles of 
ages ago, " Power belongeth unto God !" — all-sufficient j)ow^er. 
He cannot but feel that, in such an imaginary position, the 
mere reasoning which measures the cause by the effect would 
soon be out of place ; that, having prepared the way for a lof- 
tier rule, it would confess its own inadequacy, and be silent. 
Other and higher faculties than it implies would be awakened, 
and w^ould assert their claims. And wdien he remembered 
that the mighty system was, both in the constitution of every 
particle and the collocation of its unnumbered worlds, entirely 
dependent on the will of God, he would feel that even liere 


" was the hiding of His power" — that He could reduce or en- 
large the universe at pleasure. When he saw the innumerable 
changes which the great system had already passed through ; 
and that no trace was visible of a failure of power, but, on the 
contrary, that everything was apparently constructed and con- 
ducted to^ evince its presence and its plenitude, he could not 
but feel himself challenged to say whether anything more was 
wanting to convince him of the all-sufficiency of God, in this 
department, for all the future. And when he recollected, that 
" the arm of God was still bare," still evolving and working 
out the immeasurable scheme ; that every new moment brougiS 
with it an incalculable amount of new evidence of the Divtne 
Power to be added to all the accumulations of the past ; and 
that of such increase there was no prospect of an end; he 
would feel himself in the presence of a God all-sufficient, and 
spontaneously adore. 

16. For, in the consideration of this subject, it should never 
be forgotten, that, as we have before remarked, man is not 
merely an intellectual, but also a moral being ; a being meant 
for virtue as well as for reasoning, and partly, as the result of 
his reasoning. In relation to every moral truth, therefore, 
which he may be required to believe, evidence, depending lor 
its due effiict on his own diligence, attention, and state of mind, 
is to be expected, to a certain amount, but not beyond that 
amount.^ If wanting in that amount, belief would be impossi- 
ble ; if it be in excess of that amount, it would, by compelling 
belief, make virtue impossible. Constituted as man is, if his 
belief is to be at once rational and virtuous, the evidence on 
wliich it is to be based must be supplied in " weight and mea- 
sure." Such evidence, it is conceived, is supplied in this open- 
ing stage of the Divine procedure — evidence calculated to 
call forth the intelligent and adoring exclamation, " Lo ! these 
are parts of His ways ; but the thunder of His power v/ho can 
understand!" And thus the method and the reason of the 
Divine Plan, as evinced in this primary display, find iJieir 
ultimate end, in contributing to prove the all-sumciency of the 
power of God. 


TJie Second Stage of Divine Manifestation, 


The first stage of the Divine manifestation disclosed to us 
" enormous masses of matter rolling around the horizon of 
illimitable space," impelling us to the conclusion that the Crea- 
tor of these must be a Being of all-sufficient power. 

Let it be supposed that, haunted and bewildered with the 
sublime spectacle, and with the laws to which we saw matter 
successively subjected, we had retired to muse on the omnipo- 
tence of the Being who had produced the whole, and on the 
probable design of its production ; and suppose, that now again, 
after the lapse of an incalculable period, it were permitted us 
to revisit some part of the material universe, to behold the 
manifestation of another perfection of Deity ; what may we 
conceive that perfection would be ? 

1. But here, again, let it be premised that we do not con- 
template anything like sudden transition in the Divine Mani- 
festation, any distinct line which appropriates all within it to 
one attribute to the exclusion of every other. The very j^ro- 
gressiveness of the manifestation implies the contrary ; implies 
that which we actually find, that even the earhest attribute 
supposes the coexistence of all that appear after it, and is 
itself to be carried on through all the intermediate stages of 
the great process, to the last. 

2. But if, for reasons already assigned, we are warranted in 
concluding that the manifestation will be gradual ; and if, in 
harmony with this expectation, we have found that the fii-st 
display was an exercise of power, and that even this display 


advanced from step to step, as if to point attention to some- 
thing jet beyond ; we are surely warranted in expecting that 
tlie period will come in the history of creation, when another 
attribute will characterize the manifestation as distinctly as 
power does already. What, we repeat, is that attribute likely 
to be? 

We have already answered the question, in effect, by sup- 
posing that the manifestation of that power has filled us with 
wonder as to w^hat is the design of the universe of matter. 
Wisdom, then, is the next perfection for whose manifestation 
we look ; for with God, design and wisdom mean the same 
thing. Wisdom is evinced in the adaptation and adjustment of 
means to ends. Having seen the means, (we might be supposed 
to say,) let us proceed to examine the ends. Power has pro- 
duced the material ; in what way, and to what purposes, will 
Wisdom employ it ? Immeasurable ages have elapsed sinc;^ 
the first fiat went forth, and the universe seemed filled, or fill- 
ing, with a new substance ; what changes may not have passed 
on it, besides those which we witnessed, during the immense 
interval ! What if, since our last survey, another fiat should 
have gone forth ; and, in consequence, another effect have been 
produced as wonderful as the first, and by means of it ! 

Now what should we be willing to accept as such an effect ? 
And here, if the mind would do anything like justice to those 
primary displays to which, in the order of the subject, we are 
now approaching, it should labor to divest itself, as much as 
possible, of all the impressions of the Divine Wisdom which 
it has received from the later and loftier stages of the mani- 
festation. Placing ourselves, then, in the situation of beings 
to whom nothing of the kind has yet been disclosed, what, we 
repeat, should we be willing to consider as a display of wisdom 
— of wisdom so marked, as to constitute an era in the mani- 
festation, so wonderful, that it should seem to unveil to us a 
new view of the Divine character, to bring us nearer than ever 
to the Divine presence, and to remove all bounds from our 
expectation as to the future ? 

o. We will suppose that the particular section of the uni- 
verse visited is the solar system ; and that, having marked the 
scientifically calculated intervals between the sun and the 
planets, and between the planets themselves, and especially 
the rigorous equality subsisting between the angular motions 
of rotation and revolution of each satellite, we have been 
brought to conclude, with Luplace, that the arrangement 


is a protest against chance. We will suppose that tlie par- 
ticular part of the solar sj tem to which we direct our atten- 
tion is the earth ; that we mark the progressive changes ivhich 
it exhibits as compared with that primitive fluidity in which 
we beheld it untold ages ago ; trace over again its laws of 
motion, and chemistry, and crystallization ; and fancy our- 
selves one while standing in the midst of a vast chemical lab- 
oratory, where the great agent heat was crystallizing all things ; 
and another while, amidst the conflicting operations of its well- 
matched antagonist, water, assaihng, wearing, and reducing 
continents of crystal to atoms, and carrying them away to its 
own depths, but bearing them away only to lose them again by 
a subterranean force, which lifts them up from their submerged 
state to the light of day — a lofty table-land. Still, we should 
feel that all this was only the play or conflict of inorganic mat- 
ter ; that each form we beheld was lifeless, and each motion 
compelled, or impressed by a force from without, " ceasing when 
that ceased, and never proceeding beyond its compulsory im- 
pulse, either in direction or degree." 

4. What^ then, if some form of organic vegetable life had 
now for the first time met our view ! It matters not whether 
that form came into existence slowly or suddenly, alone,' or in 
company with kindred tribes, and with millions of each tribe ; 
the fact that the earth, after the existence of a " limited eterni- 
ty," has become the owner of a new principle — a principle, be 
it remarked, hitherto unknown to the whole course of nature 
— a principle hitherto peculiar to the Creator himself, the 
sacred and mysterious principle of Life ; and that innumera- 
ble pre-existing phenomena were now for the first time em- 
ployed as 7neans, for the development of this new principle as 
u7i end; this would surely be hailed by us as an epoch in the 
progress of the Divine Manifestation. 

Wisdom. — Here was a residt of which the supreme and ulti- 
mate reason is in the Divine Nature. 

5. We have not yet to speak of the extent of the wisdom 
to be inferred from this new form of existence. At present, we 
have only to regard it as evincing the existe^ice of design 
in the Divine Creator. Hereafter, we shall have to treat 
of it as being also a new illustration of creative power, and 
of every attribute and relation of the Deity already dis- 

' See Note D. 


played in the preceding stage. And whatever ilhistrations of 
taste in arrangement, elegance in form, beauty in color, and 
majesty in magnitude and waving motion, are now for the first 
time brought before us in the botanical kingdom, are to be 
regarded as indications of the Divine complacency in the 
graceful, the beautiful, and the sublime. As effects, they point 
to correspondencies infinitely greater in their cause. But even 
the manner in which each of these effects is produced is a 
proclamation of the amazing wisdom of the Maker. 

Every green leaf is a magazine of contrivances ; every pan 
of it capable of action, a theatre of diflerent organic wonders. 
And these diversities are multiplied to such a degree, that, if 
we would not be bewildered, an attempt at classification is ne- 
cessary at the very outset of our observations. Here^ in the 
primeval earth, are the three classes which are still extant ; the 
acotyledons, or those which, having no flowers, produce no 
true seeds ; the monocotyledons, or those producing one-lobed 
seeds ; the dicotyledons, or those producing two-lobed seeds. 
Of these classes, each exhibits an internal structure or organi 
zation peculiar to itself; the first being either vascular and 
cellular in its tissues, or else entirely cellular ; the second, en- 
dogenous, its growth taking place by addition from without to 
the centre ; the third, exogenous, the growth taking place by 
the addition of concentric layers without, immediately under 
the bark. But each of these classes includes numerous orders 
of plants, each order a number of genera, each genus many 
species, and every species a number of individuals defying cal 
culation. Here, too, is " a new thing in the earth ;" the great 
elements and phenomena of the inorganic world are seen sub- 
serving the purposes of organic life. The hand of the Creator 
has mysteriously bound them to the new principle. Every 
root in creation is, by a chemistry of its own, selecting ele- 
ments from the earth ; every leaf is silently feeding on the 
great air-field around it ; every fibre is vibrating to the quick- 
ening influence of the light. Quiet as is the aspect of the 
new scene, repose is, in reality, a thing unknown to it. Move- 
ment, activity, multifarious excitement, pervade the silent life 
of this new creation. 

Now could we have looked intelligently on this new, this 
organized, this living, kingdom of nature when first it came 
into existence, without saying respecting the Creator, " His 
understanding is infinite !" Here was the first utterance of 
His wisdom, in the adaption of means to ends. 



The Past hrougJd forwards. — We have now to see whether 
or not pre-existing laws and elements are brought forwards and 
employed in organic life. 

1. Preparatory to this, however, an important question 
claims our attention. Did the creation of vegetable life pre- 
cede that of animal life ? or were they contemporaneously pro- 
duced ? " The earliest forms of life known to geology [at 
present] are not, as might have been expected, j^lants, but ani- 
mals." A few species of coralloids and conchifers, in the slates 
of the Cambrian system, are, " the oldest monuments yet dis- 
covered of the creation of living things." i But this fact, geolo- 
gists admit, leaves the question we have j^roposed unanswered. 
Lindley's experiments show that some species of plants entire- 
ly disappear in water. Had such plants, then, existed for ages 
j)rior to the introduction of animal hfe, their want of power to 
resist decomposition would sufficiently account for the loss of 
all trace of their existence. And geologists are well aware 
that no certain inferences can be drawn from the numerical 
proportion of fossil plants in difterent strata, respecting the 
numbers wliich actually flourished during the formation of 
those strata ; since their preservation would depend on their 
more or less perishable nature, and on many other circum- 

2. For the decision of the question, then, we are referred to 
other considerations. Some suppose they have adequate ground 
for ascribing priority of existence to vegetable life, in the evi- 
dences which they think they can adduce that the atmosphere 
of the primitive world was surcharged v*^ith carbonic acid ; that 
this very excess, which would have been fatal to animal life, 
would have been conducive to the luxuriance of land vegeta- 
tion ; and that it was the office of such vegetation to purify the 
atmosphere of the ingredient in question, preparatory to the 

^ Phillips's Treat. Geol., vol. i. p. 129. Further investigation, how- 
ever, enables us to qualify this statement in a manner which favors the 
geo'logical precedence of the plant to the animal. In Sweden, in Nor- 
way, in Russia, and in the United States, there are certain rocks which 
occupy relatively the same place as the Lower Silurian or Cambrian sys- 
tem — the lowest in which fossils have been detected. The fossils which 
characterize them are fucoids — algre or sea- weed. The Skiddaw slates 
bear their impressions, blent with graptolites — fossil zoophytes. They 
constitute that " fucoidal band " of Sir R. I. Murchison, which forms the 
base of :he vast Palgeozoic basin of the Baltic, 



coming of land animals. As this supposition, IioAvever, is at 
present open to doubts, we will not rely on it ; and we need 
not. A moment's reflection will show that in the system of 
things which God has been pleased to constitute, animal life 
necessarily pre-supposes vegetation, and is, indeed, very much 
regulated in its extent by the quantity supplied. Vegetable 
is the ultimate support of animal life ; for, though some ani- 
mals are carnivorous, those preyed on, if traced downwards, 
are found herbivorous ; just as the herb itself derives its nour- 
ishment from the pre-existing inorganic elements. This is true 
of fishes and cetaceous animals which feed on the smaller 
plant-eating Crustacea ; and thus, in the ocean, the phosphoric 
acid of inorganic nature is, by means of plants, carried over to 
animals.i Both analogy and fact, then, authorize the inference 
that plants preceded and prepared the way for animal exist- 
ence. And the reader of the scriptures need not to be remind- 
ed that, in the Mosaic history of the last creation, vegetable 
life was called into being first. 

3. And as slowness characterises the processes of nature, 
except where the God of nature has an end to be answered by 
quickening them, analogy would lead us to infer that between 
the commencement of the Flora and the Fauna of the earth, a 
considerable period would elapse. This, at least, is certain, 
that the carboniferous group contains more than half the 
known species of fossil plants, and yet no trace of the exist- 
ence of the great herbivorous land quadrupeds appears before 
the tertiary period. Besides which, it should be remembered 
that some of the vegetable tribes found in the earliest strata, ap- 
pear to have had an end to answer prior, in the order of nature, to 
that of sustaining animal life — namely, the office of producing 
soil, and thus preparing the way for the superior tribes of their 
own order of life. But, whether the Flora preceded the Fau- 
na by an interval longer or shorter, is of little present impor- 
tance. It is enough for us that we have ground to believe that 
life began on the earth by the vegetable kingdom. 

4. We are now prepared to see whether or not the pre-ex- 
isting laws and elements of the inorganic world are brought 
forwards and employed in organic life. Wliat more there may 
be in this new department, is not now the question ; we have 
at present only to look for the continuity described. And first, 

' See a paper by Professor Forchhammer, read by Sir R. I. Murchison 
to the British Association, 1>5.4. 


we recognise it in the external relations of the plant. Botany- 
has its geography. The plant is not only a native of the earth, 
but each different species has its peculiar territory, or, in tech- 
nical language, its " habitat." Did light exist before the plant 
was created ? The humblest herb requires it, turns towards it, 
seeks after it, and, without it, perishes. For water and air, it 
has the power of absorption. For the temperature, each spe- 
cies possesses a constitutional adaptation which can never be 
violated with impunity. The first seed that germinated claim- 
ed kindred with all the material elements which w^ere in ex- 
istence when it came. And the bud at this moment bursting, 
is holding communion with the distant sun, and comes to lay 
all nature under tribute. 

5. But let us proceed from this general reference to the re- 
lation subsisting between the external conditions of the plant 
and its organization, to mark the presence and continuity of 
the laws and results of inorganic nature in the internal relations 
of the plant. Now, as to the organic constituents of plants, 
they are derived entirely, in the first instance, from the inor- 
ganic world ; and consist chiefly of four of the fifty or sixty 
simple elements — carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. 
Whatever there may have been originally included in the con- 
stitution of inorganic nature, with a view to the future Flora 
of the earth, no new materials were called into existence on 
the occasion of its creation. And, entirely distinct as was the 
new principle of hfe which w^as now to be introduced, the pre- 
existing elements were sufficient in the hands of the Creator, 
for the means of its manifestation. Modern organic chemis- 
try, we repeat, consists of little more than the study of four of 
these selected elements and their multiform combinations. 
Here is the law of gravity, carrying the root of the plant 
downwards, and making it one with the mass of the earth. 
Here is the attraction of cohesion uniting the parts of the 
plant, and giving it individuaHty. Here is motion, or me- 
chanical force, carrying the fluids absorbed for nutrition from 
the root upwards. Here is chemical affinity, attracting the 
surrounding particles with elective forces, and completely 
changing their nature. Here is developed symmetry, answer- 
ing, in form, to crystallization, giving determinate figure to the 
organized body. 

6. In the preceding Part, we remarked that in the produc- 
tion of the crystal we saw what might be regarded as the most 
finished production of the inorganic world ; and " that, in its 


symmetrical arrangement we beheld an image suggestive of 
the coming flower. But if the crystal is to be looked on, in 
respect to form, as a mineral flower, the flower, though much 
more, is a vegetable crystal. Cuvier affirmed even that the 
form of the living body is more essential to it than its matter. 
Be tliis as it may, morphology, or the subject of form, belongs 
to the science of botany. 


Progression. — The same theory which led us to look for the 
continuance of pre-existing laws and elements in organized 
matter, leads us farther to expect in this organization the man- 
ifestation of new effects, or the introduction of a new princi- 
ple. Nor are we disappointed. Here are life and its manifes- 

1. But what is organic life? As we can acquire a know- 
ledge of matter only by the changes of which it is susceptible, 
so life becomes known to us only by its effects or manifesta- 
tions. And these may be summed up under the heads of As- 
similation and Propagation ; the nourishment of the individual 
and the continuance of the race. 

2. An organic body is distinguished from an inorganic by the 
mysterious power of assimilation. The inorganic increases by 
external additions ; thus particles allowed to coalesce from a state 
of solution, arrange themselves into crystalline forais, which can 
increase only by the further juxta-position of particles added to 
them externally. The organic is nourished by a power of ap- 
propriation within. The former only fnds, the latter pre- 
pares, makes, what is added to its structure ; re-casting the- 
inert substance, and exhibiting it in new unions, not of binary 
merely, but of ternary and quaternary combinations. The in- 
organic changes that on which it acts chemically ; the organic 
vitalizes, and imparts to the matter which it vitalizes the power 
of acting in the same way on other substances. This is the 
end and object of that series of functions which, beginning with 
absorption, conveys the absorbed matter through the stem into 
the leaves, then subjects it to a process of exhalation, submits 
the rest to the action of the atmosphere, conveys it back into 
the system, elaborates it by secretion, and ends in assimilation. 

3. And the plant is also generative. The inorganic mass, 
as we have seen, can only increase by cohesion and agglome- 
ration from without. But the plant " hath its seed in itself." 


It exists in generations. Besides vitalizing that which is ne 
cessary to the conservation of each of its own parts, it is en- 
dowed with the i:)0wer of giving existence to a new whole, and 
of providing the germ with the nourishment necessary for it in 
order to commence its independent being. 

4. If now to the question, " What is life ?" it be replied in 
the language of Schmid, " Life is the activity of matter, accord- 
ing to the laws of organization ;" the question naturally arises. 
What is organization ? Perhaps the best answer which has 
been furnished is by Kant, "An organized product of nature 
is that in which all the parts are mutually ends and means."' 
Let it be remarked, it is not said that the product is made up 
of mutually dependent parts ; nor that the parts are mutually 
causes and effects ; both of these descriptions might, in a sense, 
be true of a piece of machinery. But in a piece of mechan- 
ism, " the parts have no properties which they derive from the 
whole." In an organized body they have ; the leaf, separated 
from the plant, begins immediately to lose the properties of a 
leaf, and soon ceases to retain even its form. Here, the causes 
and effects are so related as not merely to excite the idea of 
contrivance and intention ; the light in which we feel impelled 
to regard them is that of means and ends returning into each 
other with a \-iew to the constitution of a whole. The physi- 
ologist finds that each intelligible part of the system has a defi- 
nite office ; each organ, an appropriate function ; that no por- 
tion of it exists in vain ; and that each part not only answers 
an end, but is so formed as to lead to the conclusion that it 
was constructed for that end ; and that that end, which is 
again to become a means, is the reason why it is where, and 
what, it is. Here, then, we find ourselves in a new depart- 
ment of Divine operation. 

The notion of design in organized bodies — of contrivance, 
and of an end to be obtained by such contrivance — is natural 
and inevitable to the human mind. The mind is made to ask, 
why this function, or this member, just because the object is 
made to reply. And it is by wisely questioning nature, under 
the conviction that each organ and part was intended to an- 
swer a certain end, that physiology has been able to make any 
j)rogress. Under this persuasion it is that Cuvier speaks of 
the combination of organs adapted to " the part which the ani- 
mal has to play in nature." But there is another school of 

' Sec rrofessoi- WhewcU's riiil. of the Indue. Sciences, vol. ii. c. iil 


physiologists wliicli attempts to decry the doctrine of final 
causes,^ though they will be found to be frequently using lan- 
guage in harmony with it ; thus unconsciously rendering hom- 
age to the idea which they profess to repudiate. ''I know 
nothing of animals which have to jilay a part in nature,"' says 
Geoffrey St. Hilaire. " I take care not to ascribe any i7iten- 
tion to God." 2 But this, it appears to me, is mere logomachy 
and self-delusion. Some guiding idea to direct his inquiries 
the physiologist must have. The idea which Geotfrey St. 
Hilaire and his school profess to have taken, in opposition to 
the idea of design or final cause, is that of " unity of composi- 
tion," or " analogues," or "• morphology," which seeks to reduce 
all animated nature to one plan or principle of composition. 
Now let their writings be referred to, and it will he found that, 
in efifect, they have only substituted one form of the doctrine 
of final causes for another ; that " unity of composition " is their 
final cause ; that they mentally assume it in every physiolo- 
gical inquiry, and find or fancy illustrations of it in every 
organized body. 

5.^ That organization involves this idea of rneans and ends, 
as distinguished from causes and effects, contemplated in our 
last Part, will appear, if we remember, that it is here for the 
first time that we speak of failure or disease. " Physiology," 
observes Bicliat, " is to the movements of living bodies what as- 
tronomy, dynamics, hydraulics, &c., are to those of inert matter; 
but these latter sciences have no branches which correspond 
to them as pathology corresponds to physiology. For the 
same reason, all notion of a medicament is repugnant to the 
physical sciences. A medicament has for its object to bring 
the properties of the system back to their natural type ; but 
the physical properties never depart from this type, and have 
no need to be brought back to- it. And thus there is nothing 
in the physical sciences which holds the place of therapeutic 
in physiology." On which Professor Whewell remarks, " Of 
inert force, we have no conception of what they ought to do, 
except what they do. The forces of gravity, elasticity, afiinity, 
never act in a diseased manner ; we never conceive them as 
failing in their purpose ; for we do not conceive them as having 
any purpose, which is answered by one mode of their action 
rather than another. But with organical forces the case is 

' Principles de Philosophie Zoologique, p. 65. 
- Hid., p. 10. 

OllGANlC LIFE. 139 

different; they are necessarily conceived as acting ^r the pre- 
servation and development of the system in which they reside. 
If they do not do this, they fail, they are deranged, diseased." 
And he founds on the distinction- this aphorism : " The idea of 
living beings as subject to disease includes a, recognition of a 
final cause in organization ; for disease is a state in which the 
vital forces do not attain their proper ends." Now physiologi- 
cal botany includes nosology, or the science which treats of the 
diseases of the vegetable kingdom. 

6. Here, then, (and we only call attention to the fact in 
passing, with a view to ifs future apj^lication,) here, in tha 
botanical kingdom, we find ourselves in a department of the 
Divine procedure essentially different from that which we have 
left behind us in the mineral kingdom. There we saw evenfs, 
and thought only of their efficient cause ; here we find means, 
and look for their final cause or end. There we found oui- 
selves so near to the First cause, — for we cannot conceive of 
a material cause of the adjustment and motions of the plane- 
tary system, — that we naturally look back to recognise and 
adore it ; here, we find ourselves so near to ends answered by 
proximate causes v/hich we can recognise, that we as naturally 
look on to these ends in admiration of the Divine Contriver. 
There, we saw fixed laws in operation, so that nothing happen- 
ed by chance ; here we see the v/ise adjustment of means to 
ends, so that nothing is in vain. There we saw physical cause 
and effect taking place in a certain invariable order and sym- 
metry, and we felt ourselves in the presence of Intelligent Pow- 
er ; here, we see fixed ends or purposes, the direction of means 
towards them, and changes taking place to attain them, and 
we feel ourselves in the presence of a Wise as well as- an Intel- 
ligent Power. 

7. And does not tliis important distinction account for the 
sagacious remark of Bacon,' that final causes are not to be ad- 
mitted into physical or mechanical inquiries ? For we see that, 
while there, we are only among causes and effects. It is not 
until we get into our present region of organization that wo 
find ourselves among means and ends. As soon as we reach 
the first link of the living chain, " whose seed is in itself," wc 
fi 'el that the only ^ideqnate definition is, that " the parts are 
mutually means and ends." 

H. And will not tiie <ii,i;inction throw light also on x\\q "' dif- 

\)ii Au;;:UCHt. Sc. ii. iG5. 


ficultj sometimes felt in the estimate of the proofs of creative 
wisdom and power supplied hj the contemplation of organized 
life as compared with those derived from the study of the heav- 
enly bodies ? " The former — the organic phenomena — it has 
been noticed, do not furnish (to some minds at least) the same 
ready and conclusive evidence of a Deity as the latter — the 
mechanical phenomena. i And the view which we are now 
taking would have enabled us to show, a priori, that such would 
probably be the fact, and to assign the reason why. Organic 
phenomena disclose a number of visible proximate causes com- 
bined to accomplish a purpose, and we think only or principally 
of the ivisdom of the Being who has designed it ; the celestial 
phenomena simplify the theological argument by confining our 
attention to the J3emff himself, the First Cause of the wdiole. 

Or thus ; if we begin at an advanced stage of the Creative 
process — say, in the animal kingdom, wdiere there is conscious 
enjoyment, w^e should find illustrations of the existence of a 
ffood, a wise and an intelligent Power. Descending to the bo- 
tanical kingdom, we find that we have lost the proofs of good- 
ness, and have narrowed our argument to the fact of a ivise 
and intelligent Poiver. Descending again to the mineral and 
mechanical kingdom, we find that the proof of Wisdom is gone, 
and that our illustrations are restricted to the fact of the exist- 
ence of an intelligent Power. ^ The argument tapers to a single 
term. But then it is all the more powerfully felt, owing to its 
very simplicity. 

9. Kant's definition of an organized body, as " that in which 
all the parts are mutually ends and means," implies a circular- 
ity in the operation of the organized system. Hence Cuvier 
represents life under the image of a ivhirlpool, having a con- 
stant direction, and always carrying along its stream particles 
of the same kinds ; individual particles of which are constantly 
entering in and departing out ; so that the form of the living 
body is more essential to it than its matter. 

Now without attempting to estimate the importance of the 
for7n — understanding by the term, the structure as compared 
with the matter of organic life, we would for the present, simply 
point attention to the fact that an organized body involves the 
idea of a determinate structural form. In addition, an organ- 

* Professor Powell's Connection of Nat. and Div. Truth, p. 146. Dr. 
Turton's Nat. Theolofi^y, p. 54. 

^ In the same way, the mere act of creation, could we have witnessed 
<t, would have furnished a i)roof of j^owcr only, without the intelligence. 


ized bod}' lias the power of attracting into itself parts of sur- 
rounding substances, of detaining and changing a portion for 
its own use, and of giving up some of its own substance in 
return. This is in constant process. The structure not only 
retains its form, like the whirl of the vortex, though the mat- 
ter constantly passes away and is renewed ; but each particle 
is acted on at every point of the vortex, and is transformed in 
the whirl. On these grounds, the best idea we can obtain of 
organic life is, in the language of Professor Whewell, that it is 
a constant form of circulating matter, in which the matter and 
the form determine each other hy particular laws {that is, hy vital 
forces). Of the mysterious nature of these vital forces we 
shall speak hereafter. 


Continuity. — By another of our laws, we are led to expect 
that the manifestation, besides being progressive, ivill be contin- 
uous — leaving no intervals of space or time, but such as the 
modifying influence of other knos may require or account for. 

Now if, as we believe, such conditional breaches of conti- 
nuity occur, and if, according to another of our laws, every 
inferior part of creation is destined to serve a higher moral 
purpose, we may be able to show that the exceptions to the 
rul'e of continuity contribute ultimately to the same end as the 
rule itself, only in a different manner. The exceptions may 
be as cogent against the doctrine of a necessity in nature, as 
the continuity may be in favor of design. At present, how- 
ever, our concern is with the evidences of continuous progress 
in the Floras of the ancient earth. 

1. For reasons already named, especially that of the absorp- 
tion of plants, owing to their soft and destructible nature, 
during the consolidation of strata, no certain inferences can be 
drawn from the numerical proportion of fossil plants in the 
different formations. In the new list, by M. Goppert, the 
species of fossil plants discovered up to the present time all 
over the globe, amount to 1,792.^ Their numerical distribu- 
tion in the different rocks is stated to be as follows : — 

Palaeozoic 52 

Carboniferous 819 

Permian 58 

^ From a paper read by Sir K. I. Murchison to the British Associa- 
tion, 1845. 


Triassic 86 

Oolitic 234 

Wealden 16 

Cretaceous 62 

Tertiary 454 

Unknown 11 

From this table it appears that the carboniferous group 
alone contains nearly half the known species of fossil plants. 
This sudden outburst of vegetable life in the ancient earth, as 
compared with the Floras immediately preceding and follow- 
ing, intimates, at least, that the continuous progress to be 
looked for is not that of successive numerical increase. The 
living Flora, of about 80,000 species, is probably an increase 
on all the past ; but then the increase has been numerically 

2. If traces of a great botanical plan or system are sought 
for, they are not w^anting ; though they appear to be subject 
to interruptions similar to those which affect the numerical 
proportions of plants. Certain chasms now existing in the 
scheme of botanical organization, have been partially filled up 
by discoveries in the ancient Floras. Thus, by means of Le- 
pidodendra, in the transition series, a kind of link is supplied 
between the flowering and the flowerless plants.! So also the 
Cycadeoe, of the secondary series, appear to fill up a blank 
which would otherwise have separated the three great natural 
divisions of plants — the seedless class, the one-lobed seed 
class, and the two-lobed seed class. Here, however, without 
stopping to remark on the existence of intermediate spaces 
which probably have never been filled up in the manner sug- 
gested, it is enough for us to know " that although many ex- 
tinct genera and certain families have no living representa- 
tives, and even ceased to exist after the deposition of the coal 
formation, yet are they connected with modern "vegetables by 
common principles of structure, and by details of organization, 
which show them all to be parts of one grand, and consistent, 
and harmonious design."- 

3. But, chiefly, is continuous progress observable in the 
gradual increase, and final ascendancy, of the more complica- 
ted dicotyledons, or two-lobed seed class of plants, over the 

' Lindley and Button's Fossil Flora, vol. ii. p. 53. 
2 Buckland's B. Treatise, p. 480. 


more sim])lo forms of the earlier periods. If we look at the 
ancient Floras, as distributed through the three great periods 
of geological history — the transition, the secondarj^, and the 
tertiary eras — we lind that sea-weeds, or algne, existed during 
even the early formations of the first period. Such structures 
are found in Scandinavia among the very oldest fossil groups, i 
But it is in the carboniferous series of this era, especially, that 
we are called to admire the fulness of vegetable life. Here 
are, already, the three great divisions of plants — the seedless, 
the one-lobed, and the two-lobed seed classes. But while 
plants of the second and third classes are here comparatively 
rare, those of the Cryptogamic, or first class, such as Ferns 
and gigantic Equisetaceie, abound. 

In the next era, a decided change is visible. The Ferns 
and Equisetacete are reduced both in size and number ; being 
perhaps one-third of the whole. The greater part of the re- 
mainder are Cycadea3 and Conifera^, with a few Liliaceous 
plants ; the Conifera3 belonging to the two-lobed seed class, 
the Liliacece to the one-lobed seed class, and the Cycadece, 
which are so prevalent as to give a character to the upper 
formations of this era, resembling the palms of the monoco- 
tyledonous class in external appearance, and the Coniferos in 
the structure of the flower and fruit. Here, then, is an 'approach 
to proportion between the first and third classes of plants. 

In the third era the scale is decidedly turned. Most of the 
families of the first period, and many of those of the second, 
hav^ disappeared. Plants resembling our own Flora have 
taken their place. We recognise our planes and firs, willows 
and elms, poplars, chestnuts and sycamores. The dicotyledo- 
nous, or two-lobed seed class, predominates. In our living 
Flora they form about two-thirds of the whole. 

Taken as a whole, then, the geological periods exhibit botan- 
ical progression. It is easy to conceive of more striking il- 
lustrations of the rule. We can conceive, for example, of every 
family resembling the Coniferoe, which, beginning with the 
first stage of vegetation, has gone on " increasing in the num- 
ber and variety of its genera and species," down to the last 
stage. But the plan of the Creator did not require such an 
illustration of the law ; and, therefore, probably the conditions 
of the earth did not consist with it. It is sufficient to find 
that the Divine outline of botanical organization has been pro- 

Professor Forchhammer's paper to the British Association. 1844. 


gressively filling up ; and also that the order observed has 
been, on the whole, from the primary prevalence of the more 
rudimentary and simple, to the ultimate predominance of the 
more complex and perfect forms. Here is nothing, be it re- 
marked, to countenance the idea of any want of permanence 
of species. The great three-fold distinction of acotyledonous, 
monocotyledonous, and dicotyledonous, existed in the first pe- 
riod as they do still. 

Activity. — This new principle of organic assimilation, may 
be farther illustrated if w^e proceed to inquire after the appli- 
cation of that law of creation which affirms that every being 
will he found to manifest all that it is calculated to exhibit of the 
Divine nature^ by developing or working out its own nature — 
by activity. The activity of the mechanical and chemical forces 
we saw in the preceding Part. But these are constantly tend- 
ing " to produce a final condition. Mechanical forces tend to 
produce equilibrium ; chemical forces tend to produce compo- 
sition or decomposition ; and this point once reached, the matter 
in which these forces reside is altogether inert. But an organic 
body tends to a constant motion, and the highest activity of 
organic forces shows itself in continuous change." " So long as 
this motion subsists," observes Cuvier, " the body in which it 
takes place is alive ; it lives."^ Even in popular language, life 
is a term employed to express the highest degree of activity. 
And in accordance with this view of the activity of the vital 
forces we find that they form an ever-wdiirling vortex. But 
even this is far from conveying an adequate idea of their activ- 
ity. They leave nothing as they found it. They not merely 
move that on wdiicli they act, but subdue it ; not merely change, 
but assimilate, organize, and share with it their own vitality. 
And though this activity is not always maintained at the same 
rate, so essential is it to the full development of organic life 
that it never pauses. Even during winter, when vegetable 
life is thought to repose, new fibres are forming at the roots, a 
slight progression of the sap is going on, and a trifiing enlarge- 
ment of the buds taking place ;- while, wherever an organ is 
wanting to complete the symmetry of the plant, or any depart- 

' Professor Whewell's Inductive Sciences, vol. ii. c. iv. 
2 Professor Henslow's Physiol. Botany, p. 234. 


ure from the normal structure of the flower exists, it is to be 
ascribed to the restraint, or the diversion, of its natural activity. 
Cavanilles, the Spanish botanist, conceived the thought of 
literally " seeing grass grow," by ingeniously adjusting his 
instruments, at one time to the tip of the shoot of a Bambusa, 
at another, to that of the fast-growing flowering stem of an 
American aloe. And who can doubt that, with our sight 
preternaturally sharpened, and the integuments of plants made 
transparent, we should see ceaseless motion in every tissue 
and every cell of the " germinating, leaf-pushing, flower-un- 
folding, organisms" of the great vegetable covering of the 


Development. — According to another law, the same proper- 
ties or characteristics which existed in the preceding stage are 
here found to he not only brought on to the present, hut to he in a 
more advanced condition. 

1. Here every law seems double, or to have a counterpart. 
The vital power, as we have seen, is subject to the law of 
gravity ; but while the plant tends downwards, it rises up- 
wards too. The same power includes the mechanical forces 
producing motion ; but it has the twofold force of attracting 
and repelling at the same point. It is also chemical, changing 
the nature of the substance on which it acts ; but it also sup- 
ports itself by the change. It exhibits afiinity ; but to affinity 
it adds assimilation. Not only has it forms of symmetry, and 
forms, some of which do not appear possible to crystals, (as the 
pentagonal) ; but wliile there is reason to believe that in the 
crystal the form depends on the matter, in organic symmetry 
the matter appears to be subordinated to form. It has activi- 
ty, but, beyond this, it supports its activity by its action, in- 
creases its strength by exercise. Owing to its superiority over 
all the pre-existing powers of nature it is, that during its pres- 
ence in the organized structure it holds them all in subjection. 
And hence, the vital principle no sooner secedes, than these 
ordinary laws return, dissolve the structure, and cause the 
separated parts to enter into new combinations, distinct from 
those under which they had existed as a living body. 

2. And what is still more remarkable, different plant-cells 
possess different powers in this respect. With little more than 
the four elementary bodies — carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and 



nitrogen, they are found to elaborate an almost endless series 
of what are called " proximate organic principles " of the most 
diverse properties ; one cell secreting one princi23le, and 
another, another principle, by simply combining these ele- 
ments in slightly different proportions. Here, again, is the bi- 
nary principle of inorganic union ; but here is also a form of 
union entirely unknown in that division of science. Instead 
of combinations by pairs, here are thi-ee or four substances 
bound up together into a single group — a set of ternary and 
quaternary compounds — constituting one indivisible whole, 
and exhibiting properties before unknown. Nor, in many 
cases, can the stamp imparted to these properties, of their vital 
origin, be easily eifaced by any means employed to destroy it.i 
3. But this superiority of organic nature involves other 
points of distinction with which there is nothing in inorganic 
nature to compare. The vital principle includes excitability. 
We are aware that certain phenomena exhibited by plants 
have by some been regarded as proofs of the presence of irri- 
tability also, and even of sensibility. But as they appear tc 
have nothing analogous to a nervous system, these phenomena 
seem to be only instances of the extreme action of excitabili- 
ty ; by which we mean, generally, that property of the cellular 
tissue — the chief organ of nutrition — which "takes cogni- 
zance of the action of external influences upon it, and by which 
it resists those mechanical and chemical efforts which would 
otherwise soon succeed in decomposing its substance." 2 And 
even when the mystery of life closes in the mystery of death, 
it is only the death of the individual structure we are called to 
witness. The living plant includes the mystery of propaga- 
tion — the power of self-multiplication during life, and of con- 
tinued reproduction after death. Were it our object, then, to 
distinguish between the inorganic and organic parts of nature 
briefly and broadly, we might say, that wjiile the former origi- 
nate fortuitously, enlarge externally, and are terminated by 
mechanical or chemical force, the latter originate by propaga- 
tion, grow by an internal power of assimilation, and terminate 
by death. 

* See Fownes' Chemistry, &c., p. 41. 
^ Jlenslow's Botany, p. 161. 



Relations. — The harmony of the plant with the conditioner 
of its existence is, necessary, because, according to another of 
our laws, everything is related. Were the cmtinuance of the. 
vegetable s^Decies independent of the reprodimive process, or 
reproduction independent of nutrition, or were one organ inde- 
pendent of another, that compliance with law and order of 
which we have spoken would of course be unnecessary. Were 
botany unconnected with liglit, and air, and moisture, and heat, 
all these elements might depart, and yet leave a flourishing 
vegetable creation behind. It is because each plant is related 
to the whole by an appointment of the Creator never to be re- 
pealed, that every change in its external condition, and in 
its organization, involves a corresponding change in its well- 

1. Relations are traceable between the various species of 
the subterraneous Flora and the co-existing conditions of inor- 
ganic nature. Not, indeed, — and, as we have already re- 
marked, the difference is of the greatest importance, — not that 
there is any evidence that a change of inorganic conditions ne- 
cessitates the production of new forms of organic life, (as if 
these conditions were independent causes,) but that the produc- 
tion of such new forms of Hfe presupposes a corresponding 
change of inorganic conditions. 

2. Internal relations are also traceable; or corresponden- 
cies between the various parts of the vegetable creation. Type 
is the very term which NaturaHsts have chosen to express tliis 
resemblance. It will be remembered that, when speaking of 
crystals, we remarked that their forms suggested the idea of 
likeness or resemblance. We may expect, then, that in or- 
ganic bodies also we shaU find this analogy, and something else 
in addition. And we do so ; we find resemblance of nature 
and habits. Now this is the difference in natural history be- 
tween analogy and affinity : analogy is superficial resemblance, 
affinity is resemblance of internal structure, properties, and 
habits. But in order to ascertain the affinity of organic bodies, 
the relative importance of the different parts compared must 
be determined; as, for example, whether resemblance between 
the organs of nutrition in two species is to reckon for more 
than resemblance between the organs of reproduction, or for 
less. The number of affinities present, which may be regarded 
as an equivalent for the absence of other affinilies, must b(j 


settled. Now when these laws of classification are ascertained, 
a type or specimen is to be taken, and the question asked, 
" which approaches the nearest to it in all the affinities which 
characterize the class ; and which the nearest to this, and so 
on." The rest^ will be, the formation of a natural group 
around the chMcteristic type. This will not be found to 
form a direct or linear series, answering to the figure of a 
chain, or of a cone of being, to a circular, quinary, or dichoto- 
mous system, or to any precise artificial arrangement. It may 
form a figure very irregular at its circumference, for it seeks 
no boundary line without ; it enlarges from the central type. 
And as it ramifies in various directions, its continuity may be 
that of a branching tree. But so evident is its continuity, that 
the attempt at natural classification can hardly be begun be- 
fore the mind becomes impressed with the firm persuasion that 
analogy and affinity reign throughout — that the whole botani- 
cal kingdom is constructed on a plan. 

3. From the all-related nature of organic forms, it follows, 
also, that a modification of any one part of a plant supposes 
the modification of every other part. And, accordingly, it is 
found that a change of one organic function involves a corres- 
ponding change of the whole body. 


Order. — But, according to another of our principles, every 
law will be found to have its order, and may he expected to 
come into operation on each individual subject of it, according to 
its priority of date in the great system of creation. Thus, at the 
moment of separation from the parent plant, the seed tends to 
the earth hy gravitation. The chemical conditions requisite for 
germination — moisture, oxygen, and a certain elevation of 
temperature — must next be satisfied. Having imbibed " mois- 
ture through its integuments, the embryo swells, the radicle 
protrudes and tends downwards;" the plumule, or terminal 
bud, expands and rises upwards ; in other words, the law of 
developed symmetry obtains. Taking firm hold of the earth, 
it commences its own independent existence ; its conservative 
functions come into play in orderly succession ; all of which 
combine to prepare the way for the higher and orderly pro- 
cesses of reproduction, by which its species will be continued 
after its own individual existence shall have ceased. Here are 
" first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the 


ear." The order of the progression- is fixed, and no power but 
His who appointed it can reverse it. 


Injluence. — It is to be expected that everything will bring in 
it, and with it, in its own capahility of subserving the end, a 
reason why all other things should be injiuenced by it ; a reason 
for the degree in which they should be influenced by it ; and for 
the degree, in which it, in its turn, should be influenced by 
everything else. If the powers of inorganic nature are to be 
ranged according to their activity and energy, or their capa- 
bility of producing changes, it will yet be found that the most 
powerful are themselves susceptible of change. Action and 
reaction pervade the physical system, and are essential to its 
stability. For organic nature, all this action and reaction is 
" taken into account," calculated, and employed. The intro- 
duction of a single plant would have changed the relations of 
the whole. Its most wonderful property is the power which it 
possesses of influencing chemical action, and of thus secreting 
and preparing its own food, and securing its own growth. But 
wliile thus aifecting everything external to itself, it is also 
modified by the very properties which it changes. While the 
leaf is decomposing the carbonic acid of the atmosphere, appro- 
priating the carbon to the formation of its own proper juices, 
and returning the disengaged oxygen into the atmosphere, its 
own vital powers are affected by the quantity of carbonic acid 
which may happen to be present in the atmosphere — a fact, 
belonging to a class, suggestive of the difficult, but momentous 
truth, that human character is at once a constitution and a for- 
mation ; a subjective power, at once modifying, and modified 
by, objective influences. 


Subordination. — Again, we find that every laAv subordinate 
in rank, though it may have been prior in its origin, is subject 
to each higher law of the Manifestation. 

1. Accordingly, the productions of power are found to be 
subservient to the exercise of msdom — the inorganic sustains 
the organic world. And not only so ; it is prepared for its 
office by a process. It is subordinated by decomposition. No 
single earth, nor even a couiposition of two earths, is fertile. 


The union of at least three — lime, silica, and alumina, is in- 
dispensable to fertility. For this the granite is decomposed, 
and the matter deposited by rivers in the bottom of valleys. 
And to this, every revolution and commingling of the strata of 
the ancient earth has been made subservient. 

2. But this subordination is continuous, extending into the 
vegetable kingdom itself. Chemical and mechanical action 
almost fails to convert some rocks (as quartz) into soil. Yet 
not the less are these rocks made subservient to vegetable life. 
Here, where no other plants would exist, the Creator has 
placed the multitudinous and inexplicable tribe of lichens — 
"the pioneers of vegetation." These prepare the way for the 
mosses ; and these, again, for other plants superior still ; each 
retiring in succession, when it has contributed by its own life 
and death to place a better race on the spot ; till at length the 
stately tree waves where once nothing but the apparently root- 
less, leafless, flowerless lichen could exist. 

3. And this law of subordination is found to descend to the 
physiology of the individual plant. The organs of conversa- 
tion are subservient to the organs of reproduction, the individ- 
ual to the species. Though unconscious of a purpose, no plant 
lives to itself In some tribes, the constitution and cares of 
the parent plant appear to be concentrated on this point, as on 
the end of its existence. The tribes of annuals die as soon 
as this end is answered. Others, in a sense, refuse to die, till 
they have answered it. 

4. The same subordination obtains among the individual or- 
gans.- " God hath set the members every one of them in the 
body as it hath pleased Him." And though no organ is use- 
less, their value is graduated; and hence, a leaf, having an- 
swered its end, may fall off without any injury to the plant. 

5. But then this subordination of one organ to another, of 
plant to plant, and of inorganic matter to the whole, lastr 
only as long as the plant continues to live. By death, it lose; 
its status in the ascending rank of creation, and becomes sub 
ject to the ordinary inorganic laws. 


Uniformity. — Profound as the subject of life is, all its opera- 
Hons will he found to he impressed with the regularity of genera\ 
laws. On this condition alone can we hope to ascertain ir& 
operations, and mark the wisdom which they evince. Now 


the actual existence of such regularity is implied in the remarks 
we have already advanced. The vital principle, once superin- 
duced by the Living God, acts, according to His appointment, 
and under His superintendence, with constancy and certainty. 
True it is, that in studying organic life we find ourselves for 
the first time in the regions of mutual adaptations ; and that 
the writer on systematic botany is obliged to indite a chapter 
of anomalies. 

Unlike the law of chemical affinity, which requires that the 
compound be in definite proportions, we find that Life asserts 
its freedom and its power by dispensing with this chemical ex- 
actness. But even this freedom is only within certain limits, 
or is bounded by law. This power of adaptation is according to 
particular rules, which are all ranged under a general rule. It 
is a law unto itself. For example : — Oxygen is indispensable 
to the germination of seeds; where it is entirely wanting, as 
in distilled water, they will not germinate ; while, if acted on 
by more than a certain proportion, they will be over-stimulated. 
But let them have about the right proportion — one part of 
oxygen with three .of azote, and they will germinate accord- 
ingly. The general law cannot be violated ; while the power 
of adaptation by which the seed is adjusted to the circumstances 
is itself regulated by the universal law which measures the 
cause by the effect, and which determines that its action shall 
be always the same in the same circumstances. And as no 
comj)liance with the other conditions of germination will com- 
pensate for the want of the necessary oxygen, so no supply of 
this alone will atone for the absence of the other conditions 
of germination. Its constitution is defined by laws which must 
be complied with. 

These laws, indeed, must not be confounded with causes. 
The life of the plant presupposes the organization which the 
Creator has been pleased to make a necessary condition ; this 
condition, however, is not the cause of its vitality, but only the 
means of its manifestation. And organization presupposes 
certain inorganic conditions; but these conditions are not the 
cause of it ; they are only employed and subordinated to or- 
ganic ends. All that we recognise, in either case, is the law 
or rule according to which the organic and the inorganic are 
made to act ; the cause of that action is entirely distinct. 



Obligation. — Organic life exists under an obligation to pro- 
mote the end of creation, commensurate with its means and rela- 
tions. Of course, the only sense in which obligation can be 
predicated of the organic scheme is similar to that in which, 
like the inorganic, it is said to be governed by laws. The laws 
themselves suppose an agent ; for they only express the mode 
in which he acts, the order according to which he proceeds. 
And as that agent is no other, can be no other, than the Law- 
giver himself, the obHgation of which we speak can be only 
the necessity which he has been pleased to incur, to operate in 
a certain manner in order to the attainment of a certain end. 
Having voluntarily determined on a given end, the adoption 
of the necessary means becomes obligatory ; and as the means 
of which we are now speaking are merely organic existences, 
whatever obligation there is can rest only on a power external 
to themselves, the Power that employs them. 


Well-being. — In accordance with another of our laws, we 
find that the well-being of the plant depends on its conformity 
to the laivs of its constitution. 

1. Thus, in relation to the internal economy of vegetable 
life, let the process of reproduction fail, and the species ceases 
to exist. Let the organs of nutrition be obstructed, and the 
individual fails. Let the development of the plant be arrested, 
and deformity ensues ; remove the impediment, and, if done 
in time, the dormant power of expansion awakes, and the de- 
velopment of the body is completed. And as to the external 
relations of vegetable life, the range of most plants — as to 
climate, for example — is very limited. If the average tem- 
perature adapted to the various families of plants were to vary 
as much as five degrees, they would, with their present consti- 
tutions, speedily suffer, languish and die. From first to last, 
the life of the plant depends on the maintenance of a definite 
adjustment between its constitution and external influences. 
Compliance with the conditions of its existence is indispensa- 
ble to its well-being. 

2. In this stage of creation, still more than in the preceding, 
the idea of perfection is forcibly suggested. In this domain of 
resemblances, we seek a type with which to compare analogous 
objects; and that type we select from among the most perfect 


objects of its kind. Partly from finding that one specimen is 
better tlian another, the mind erects an ideal standard of ex- 
cellence with which to compare everything comparable. But 
by this standard no specimen is absolutely perfect. No two 
roses, for example, have ever been entirely, in every property 
and particular, alike ; so that no two have ever stood in pre- 
cisely the same relations to the ideal standard. Even the 
individual flower which has approached the nearest to ideal 
perfection has fallen short of it. Some slight difference in 
itself, or in its circumstances — a difference inappreciable by 
man, would have been followed by a real, though equally in- 
appreciable difference in its claim to perfection. Its a])proach 
to that standard is the measure of its harmony with the pre- 
scribed laws of its being. 


Analogy. — We have already found, to a considerable extent, 
that this second, or botanic, stage of creation, is constructed ac- 
cording to a 'plan. 

1. We have seen that it is, in all its mineral and chemical 
elements, in complicated harmony with the first, and dependent 
on it. Either the inorganic stage was preconfigured to the 
organic, or the latter was entirely configured to the former. 
This correspondence extends even to that symmetry, or definite 
relation of form and number, which obtains first in crystallog- 
raphy. For while there are some kinds of symmetry common 
among flowers, which are unknown to crystals — such as the 
pentagonal, there are other kinds, such as the trigonal, which 
prevail in both, and which externally unite them together. 

2. The various parts of the vegetable kingdom are also in 
harmony with each other. Indeed, no one family of plants 
could be naturally arranged, except as part of a natural class- 
ification of all plants. Now the symmetry to which reference 
is here made, involves numerical properties whicli afford a 
basis for such botanical classification. For it is found that the 
number three is the ground of the symmetry of monocotyle- 
donous plants, and the number ^"^;e of dicotyledonous plants, 
the numerical distinction harmonizing with, or expressing itself 
by, a leading difference of physiological structure. 

o. The various parts of the vegetable kingdom, regarded as 
successively existent, not only do not derange the plan which 
classifies existing species, but seem necessary in order to com- 


plete it. The large calamities of the coal formation take their 
place in the existing family of equisetacete. The fossil lepido- 
dendra of gigantic stature, are intermediate between living 
lycopodiaceaj and coniferce. And even the extinct sigillaria?, 
of which no living representatives exist, find, as far as the 
details of their organization are known, a definite place among 
existing families. Li the Flora of the secondary series, the 
leading feature consists in the prevailing presence of cycadeci2. 
Now, of this family, the cycas revoluta exhibits an important 
physiological peculiarity, by which it forms a characteristic 
link between the living and fossil cycadeas, while the existing 
cycadeag can be shown to connect together the great cone-beai^- 
ing family with the famihes of palms and ferns, and thus to 
occupy an intermediate station between the three great natural 
divisions of plants. And, speaking generally, the plants of 
the secondary series exhibit characters of an intermediate kind, 
between the insular Flora of the transition series, and the con- 
tinental vegetation of the tertiary strata. 

3. In addition to the evidence of a plan which arises from 
this constant adherence to a determined class ofprimitive types, 
and to the consequent reduction of every species to its approj^ri- 
ate place in the great system, there is the remarkable fact of 
the existence of apparently abortive, yet always symmetrical, 
parts in plants. Botanical physiologists " find parts existing in 
a rudimentary or abortive state in one species, which in others 
serve some manifestly important design." In this rudimentary 
state, they seem to exist only for the purpose of suggesting the 
idea of symmetrical arrangement, and of inviting and facihtat- 
ing classification. And " it must be considered an additional 
proof of arrangement, when, as in many instances, we are able 
to show that they become subservient to a new purpose, by 
being unfitted to their primary one."^ 

4. Classification. — Now, according to our theory, the 
true system of botanical classification is that which arranges 
the relationship of plants according to the order of progressive 
nature, taken in connection with the relative importance of the 
progressive steps. Thus, beginning with me(;lianical properties, 
as those of the lowest value, we ascend to those of chemical 
affinity; to symmetry, or relations of form and number ; then 
to the organs of nutrition, each organ rising in value as the 
process advances ; and, finally, to the organs of reproduction, 
as of the highest value ; ^— the relationship being nearest where 

' Dr. Daubeny's Inaugural Lecture on Botany, p. 24. 


the affinity lies between those characteristics which are of tlie 
highest vakie. 

5. This metliod, 1, so far from arbitrarily selecting any one 
part of the plant as the basis of arrangement, — as the corolla, 
by Tournefort ; or the stamen and pistils, by Linnajus, — re- 
quires a minute investigation of every part and property. Its 
peculiarities of chemical composition, the " proximate princi- 
ples" which distinguish it, as well as its geographical and climatic 
relations, are all to be taken into the account. 2. Although it 
assigns the highest value to a particular function, it by no means 
follows that such principle is to be universally the basis of 
arrangement ; inasmuch as resemblance, in this particular, may 
be outweighed in some families of plants, by a combination of 
characteristic differences in other particulars. The law of the 
subordination of characters is itself subject to a more compre- 
hensive law, which takes cognizance of the entire scale of their 
values, and divides and combines them according to the rela- 
tion of those characters. 3. As an organic body is all-related, 
so that a change in one part of its constitution involves a cor- 
responding change in every other part, our method supposes 
that an arrangement correctly formed on one function will har- 
monize with an arrangement correctly formed on another 
function. 4. Our method provides, not only for the formation 
of groups, but also of series of groups, ranging according to 
organic perfection. The distinction between the cellular class, 
lichens, algas, &c., without sexes, flowers, or spiral vessels, and 
the vascular class, is obvious. And a more intimate acquaint- 
ance with the physiology of the latter class would, doubtless, 
enable us to range all its species in the order of their ascending 

6. The multiplication of the paints of agreement which the 
organic kingdom presents as compared with the inorganic, pre- 
pares us to expect an increase of such points with every ad- 
vancing stage of creation ; and, consequently, an increasing 
power of testing the truth of our classifications. 


Contingent. — According to another of our laws, we may 
expect to find that this new department of organic life exhibits 
marks of its contingency^ or dependence on the sovereign will of 
the Divine Oreator In the section corresjjonding to this, in 
the preceding part, v/e saw the cosmical and terj-estrial arrange- 


ments taking law directly from the will of God. Here the 
illus-trations of the Creative Will are still further multiplied in 
the constitutions and j^roperties of organic forms. 

1. For example : there is in plants a cycle of functions 
requiring about 365 days. There is a lesser cycle, or alterna- 
tion, requiring about twenty-four hours. There is a measured 
force in the motion of the sap of every flower ; and there is 
an appointed degree of stiffness in the stalk. Now there is no 
inherent necessity whatever, in the plant itself, why it should 
have these particular cycles, alternations, and forces, and no 
others. We can conceive them increased or diminished to 
any degree. But these exact phenomena and no others, it 
may be said, are made necessary by the previous conditions 
of the earth, of which they have come to form a part. Un- 
questionably, the first peculiarity is adapted to the annual mo- 
tion of the earth, the second to its diurnal revolution, and the 
third and fourth to the mass of the earth. But, we have shown 
that this motion, revolution, and mass, were themselves origi- 
nally dependent on the Divine appointment. Whether, there- 
fore, we regard inorganic nature as preconfigured to the pre- 
ordained constitution of organic life, or the organic constitution 
as adapted to the pre-existing plan of inorganic nature, we 
have alike a twofold proof of the exercise of a Designing WilL 

2. True, the farther we remove from the first stage of the 
Creative process, the less manifest becomes the direct inter- 
vention of the Creating Will in the subsequent stages, and the 
less marked the direct dependence of the things created. This 
second stage, for example, from being adjusted and made to fit 
into the first, appears to some as if it were directly and en- 
tirely derived from it. He who is admitted to have origin- 
ated the first, is supposed to have less to do with the second, 
just because, in His all-comprehending plans, the organic is 
made to presuppose the inorganic. The first, from being made 
a mere condition of the second, is in danger of being promoted 
into the place of the great originating Cause. 

3. Even if vegetable life could be shown to be a necessary 
development of material elements merely, still, as no one who 
admits that the laws of matter were derived from God, would 
deny that He foresaw all the developments and results of which 
these laws were capable, and therefore foresaw their develop- 
ment in organic life as one of those results, such development 
must be held to furnish a new illustration of His manifold 
design in the creation of matter. The illustration only takes 


a different date. And this, let me restate, is a sufficient reply 
to those who, admitting the Divine origination of nature, would 
have every subsequent stage to be a mere natural develop- 
ment ; partly, on the ground of saving the Divine dignity from 
the supposed trouble or unworthiness of a more direct interpo- 
sition. For this view, besides involving an antln-opomorphic 
misapprehension of the nature of the Divine Greatness, inijjlies 
that it may be worthy of the Deity to devise a law in eternity, 
which yet it would be unworthy of Him to carry into effect in 
time ; and thus overlooks the fact, that in relieving the Deity 
from an act of immediate creation, it does so by supposing that 
He has yet from eternity designed and contemplated the results 
of such a creation. 

4. But the idea of a natural and necessary development of 
matter, is a mere assumption. While the fact of the Divine 
origination of matter, at first, is itself a strong presumption in 
favor of the Divine origination of every new use subsequently 
made of it. Li accordance with which, we find that fossil 
vegetation exhibits no indication of a regular development of 
species from the most simple onwards to the most perfect. 
The dycotyledon of the present day is not derived from the 
rudimentary acotyledon of the palaezoic series ; even then they 
grew together side by side. Nor has the rudimentary vege- 
table of that day been absorbed in higher forms, and gone out 
of existence ; it exists, unchanged, by the side of the ancient 
dicotyledon. The vegetable kingdom of the early carbonifer- 
ous group, requires to be distributed into three classes ; nor 
does the botany of the present day require a fourth class. 
Even from that early period, the plan, or outline, of vegetable 
life had been laid down by the Designing Will. 

5. Such direct creative interposition is to be inferred also 
from the ground there is to believe that plants have a charac- 
ter of their own, more or less independent of mere external 
influences. That they are related to all the great pre-exist- 
ing laws and elements of inorganic nature, we have shown; 
but, according to the views of the best botanical writers, they 
have characteristics which no external forces can account for, 
and which can be ascribed only to independent laws.i " De- 
ciduous plants, when carried across the equator, will put forth 
leaves at the approach of winter ; evidently because it is their 
habit so to do after settled intervals of time. In the experi- 

' Decandolle's Physiologic, vol. ii. 478. 


ments made by Decandolle on this subject, it was found that 
some plants kept their habits, without regarding either the 
arti^cial light or heat to which they were subjected. And it 
is admitted to be among " the unsatisfied problems of geology" 
to account for " the uniformity of the types of organic life 
over great areas, accompanied as it was by considerable diver- 
sity of local association.''^ Great as is the power of plants to 
adapt themselves to external changes, they have laws and a 
constitution of their own. Stimulated they may be, but not 
forced. In their creation, a principle was superadded to all 
that had gone before, subjecting matter to itself, but not to be 
subjected by it. 

6. And is not the same direct interposition to bQ inferred 
from the apparent want of correspondence observable between 
the inorganic conditions of existence, and the organic exist- 
ences themselves ? That the appearance of organic life has 
been made by the Creator to depend on certain inorganic con- 
ditions, we hold to be a point settled. But we submit that it 
is not consequent on this, that the presence of the mere physi- 
cal conditions shall always be followed by the presence of the 
life. According to creation by. natural development, indeed, 
life must follow the physical conditions, directly, necessarily, 
universally, and to the utmost amount ; for these conditions 
are supposed to be the only causes of life. If the new crea- 
tion did not invariably follow the new condition, the law of 
natural development would be at an end ; for it is supposed to 
act inevitably. And yet such apparent irregularities do exist. 
For example, some families of land plants, as the coniferae 
and the palms, have pervaded all the series of formations. 
Why did the physical conditions of the secondary series fail to 
reproduce the sigillariae, as they did the coniferee, both of which 
had existed together in the first series ? Or what was there 
in many of the plants of the second series less suited to the 
temperature, and other conditions of the first series, than in 
those of the first to the conditions of the second, throughout 
which they both afterwards concurrently flourished without 
any apparent deterioration ? While we believe it to be fully 
established that organic life does not exist, except in connec- 
tion with certain physical conditions, we believe also that the 
conditions are not the causes of life, and may exist without it ; 
and that the Will which originated the first, is the cause of 
the second. 

^ Mr. Phillips, at British Association. 1845. 


7. Ill the organic, then, as well as in the inorganic world; 
all that we can recognise are conditions and laws ; and only 
some of these. The originating cause in each alike was the 
Divine volition. The same free scope which existed when 
matter was yet to be created, as to everything which related 
to its properties and arrangements, existed in relation to the 
introduction of vegetable life. The precise period of its com- 
mencement ; the plan of the great system ; the varieties which 
it should include ; and the laws of its historical and geographi- 
cal distribution ; all are referrible to " the good pleasure of 
His will," in whose purpose it is allowed to have originated. 


Ultimata. — If organic life be thus dependent on the will 
of the Creator, we may expect to find that it reveals the exist- 
ence of ultimate truths. Accordingly, after all the inquiries 
into the phenomena of organization, if the question recurs, 
what is life ? or, what is the cause which produces these effects 
in living bodies ? or, what is the principle which unites all 
these organic functions in the single result called life ? we are 
as far as ever from being able to furnish an explanation. We 
have only described some of the phenomena. The thing it- 
seh' is indefinable. 

1. The organs by which life acts, may be anatomically ex- 
amined, and correctly classed ; but life is something independ- 
ent of them all : for not one of them is universal in organized 
nature, and therefore is not essential to the vital force. The 
functions of these organs may be known, and the chemistry of 
their operations be silently and perseveringly watched; but the 
principle of that chemistry, the cause of these functions, are 
meanwhile presupposed and unapproached. The " proximate 
organic principles" which the chemistry of life produces, and 
submits to our examination, may be minutely analysed and 
correctly named ; but they have been produced " in circum- 
stances which we cannot imitate, and, in fact, do not under- 
stand." They are, at best, only proximate principles ; effects, 
which refer us to the existence of a cause, the nature of which 
they do not reveal ; their very number and diversity not ex- 
plaining, but multiplying the mysteries in which it is involved. 
The little " nucleated cells" evolved from these proximate 
principles, ai^ by the development of which the organic mass 
is supposed to be enlarged, may be known and truly describ- 


ed ; but this is something already existing ; the cause which 
has led to it is still presupposed. The analogy between cer- 
tain crystalline, and certain vegetable forms, may be interest- 
ing and familiar ; but if those crystalline forms be referred to 
electric action, here is something wliich deals with electricity, 
and employs it ; or, if they be referred to the form or quality 
of the ultimate atoms, here is something which subordinates 
both. Organization is, as we have seen, not an affair of out- 
ward form merely, but of inward structure. Admitting even 
the possibility of the artificial imitation of some of the prox- 
imate principles, and of the cells or globules of organic life, 
still they are inorganic principles and globules ; the very ab- 
sence of the vital power shows that it is something distinct 
from form and elementary composition, though it may employ 
both, and that these artificial imitations are not organization. 

2. Vegetation involves an orderly series of processes. And 
all that the physiologist can do is to describe the results of 
each, and the order in which they occur. Having done this, 
he is said to have explained the subject ; but all that he has 
done is to state what takes place ; how it has taken place, is as 
mysterious as before. He shows you the circulation of the 
sap, but the force which circulates it is presupposed. He takes 
a flower, and discloses all that has taken place in order to its 
production, since he deposited the seed in the earth ; but with 
that seed he deposited an already existing principle which he 
cannot disclose. He has told you only of laws ; but with each 
law he has left a cause unexplained. Like the astronomer 
looking at his supposed nebula, let the physiologist trace back 
the process of organization as far as he can, he cannot detect 
it in its primary state ; he has to refer it " back to some pre- 
vious state, out of which it appears to have emerged imper- 
ceptibly and explicably." He sees the phenomena of life only 
after it has begun to work. Life itself is presupposed and 

3. Now organic life, like inorganic matter, is to be viewed, 
first, as an object, or in its relation to space : and the question 
arises, how came it really and objectively to be ? What rela- 
tion did tlie Divine power and wisdom bear to its creation ? 
We may be able to describe the organization in which life is 
developed. But, having done this, and having traced the or- 
ganization back to the seed, and searched the very elements of 
the seed itself, we find that we haVe reached an impassable 
barrier. It contains nothing in itself to account for its own 


origination, as a living organific power. And could we have 
looked on the first seed that germinated, or the first vegetable 
creation that lived, we should have felt, instinctively, that 
the only ground of' its existence must be the will of God. 

4. But if the first moment of its existence revealed a wise 
Creator ; the second moment revealed a Providence, for vegeta- 
ble life was seen in relation, not only to space, but also to time 
— it continued. Organic processes were constant and universal. 
What was the Divine relation to the vital foi'ces implied in all 
this new kind of activity ? Here we come to ultimate laws. 
For in tracing the sequences of organic phenomena, we find a 
series of laws, each of which is related to all the rest ; and ail 
of which refer us to a cause of which they are only the results, 
or the means of manifestation. And the only conclusion warrant- 
ed is, that the continuance of vegetable life, no less than its or- 
igination, has its ground in the will of God. We are as unable 
to conceive of a self-sustained, as of a self-originated organiza- 
tion. Dependence is not less its characteristic, in relation to 
time, than it is in relation to space: The regularity of the or- 
ganic processes, so far from denoting the absence of the Great 
Agent, is the very circumstance which indicates His presence. 
It is the only way in which we can conceive of His agency. 
The laws proclaim the presence of the Lawgiver. 

5. Life, then, as imparted in creation, and revealed in the 
phenomena of organization, is something distinguishable from 
the phenomena or laws which reveal it. We may, indeed, 
know nothing of the vital principle, but by the operation of 
these laws ; just as the properties of matter as created, are 
disclosed to us only by the sequences of matter as continued. 
But, as the laws of matter presuppose its properties, so the 
phenomena of life presuppose the life which they reveal. 


Necessary Truth. — The existence of ultimate truth, reminds 
us of the law which prepares us to recognise the existence of 
necessary truth. 

1. Li the former inorganic stage, we saw matter take pos- 
session of space ; and we saw that, besides implying the pre- 
existence of space as a necessary condition, it implied the 
necessary existence of the Divine Power both as condition 
and cause. Here, we see life take possession of matter ; and 
wc cannot but feel that the idea of a Living Cause is indispen. 


sable. The contrary is impossible. Sucli a cause might have 
been inferred, indeed, from the creation of inorganic matter ; 
but the existence of organic life proclaims and represents it. 

2. In tlie laws of organic phenomena, too, we recognise 
proofs of the Avisdom of 'God. We see a vast and complicated 
system of means employed for the attainment of certain ends. 
And thus, if the creation of organic .life, in its relation to 
space, imj)lies the necessary existence of a Living Cause, the 
laws of its existence as related to time, imply the necessary 
wisdom, as well as the life-giving power of the Creator. We 
cannot but conceive of that Living Wisdom as existing prior 
to all objective manifestation, and independently of it. As 
condition, its activity from eternity was only subjective ; as 
cause, it has now become objective also. Here then we have 
the subjective living w^isdom, and the objective ; for that which 
was possible, has become real. The nature of Him who is 
" the Life," begins to be manifested. Things not only are, they 
hve ; and live by means which give us a deeper insight than we 
possessed before, into the necessary perfections of the Divine 


Change. — This stage of the Divine procedure not only pre- 
pares us to look for another, but, according to our theory, the 
law of ever-enlarging manifestation is itself regulated by a law 
determining the time and manner of each successive stage of the 
advancing process. 

1. That the process itself cannot consistently terminate, is 
evident ; for then the proof of the Divine sufficiency for un- 
hmited manifestation would terminate with it. That it was 
not yet to terminate, might now have been inferred from a new 
analogical ground ; for not only was the activity of the inor- 
ganic universe from the first the activity of progression, but 
addition of vegetable life furnished an entirely distinct ground 
of expectation for the addition of yet another stage. JSior can 
we conceive ourselves as surveying this second display of the 
Divine resources, without becoming conscious of the persua- 
sion that we shall " see greater things than these," and that 
these are intended, in some way, to prepare for them. 

2. But what was it which made the time of the actual 
change, the right time ? For here again 1 may remark, that 
even those who adopt the hypothesis of development by natu- 


ral law, must admit that every stage of clevelopmtMit was pro- 
spectively included in the plan of the Lawgiver; and that for 
the same reason that any stage was designed to occur at all, 
there must have been a right time for its occurrence, or a reason 
which made the period of its actual occurrence the right period. 
And the law with which we have now to do, respects the nature 
of that reason. 

3. Believing that no such change takes place capriciously ; 
but as either the law of progression, or of the end, or the coin- 
cidence of the two, requires, we have to remark, first, on the 
claims of the law of progression. What these were, was de- 
clared by the event. The introduction of vegetable life was 
designed by the Creator to become subservient to animal en- 
joyment. As soon, therefore, as the vegetable and other fore- 
seen conditions were present, the law of progression might be 
expected to receive a new illustration in the addition of animal 
existence, provided no other law intervened. I am aware, in- 
deed, that by those who advocate natural development, the pres- 
ence of certain conditions would alone constitute, not merely 
the fitness of the occasion for the addition of animal iife, but 
even necessitate such addition. But this is a position whicb, 
from the nature of the case, can never be susceptible of proof. 
And is it philosophical to conclude that, because a thing does 
not exist without certain conditions, therefore it must exist 
with them ? That certain events inay invariably follow the 
presence of certain conditions, I do not deny ; for it may be 
the law of the Divine procedure that they shall do so ; and, 
further, the Creator may have arranged that this coincidence 
in the law of progression shall fall in with the law of the end, 
and, indeed, with other laws also of which we know nothing. 
I object only to the manner in which what may be, is confound- 
ed with what must be — the possible with the necessary, and 
in which conditions are gratuitously promoted into the place 
of causes. 

4. Admitting, then, that the organic creation was not origi- 
nated without a design, or, that it forms part of the Divine 
plan ; and that, as a great system of adaptations of means to 
ends, it proclaims a Divine designer, the question arises, wheth- 
er or not that ultimate end was, in any sense, adequately at- 
tained. That it had not been attained, when animal life com- 
menced on the earth, if such attainment depended on the di- 
versity and multiplication of vegetable structures to the utmost 
extent possible, is evident ; for this multiplication was most 


probably much greater after that period than it was before 
Then, was the original' creation of organic life, taken in con 
nection with its subsequent reproductions, and successive en- 
largements prior to the creation of man, adequate to warrant 
the inference of the all-sufficiency of Creative wisdom ? Does 
the long series of vegetable worlds, including the present, ex- 
hibit all the changes, and consequent displays of Design, 
which, under the circumstances, (such as the geological revo- 
lutions and the size of the planet), might have been expected? 

5. In order to answer this question otherwise than inferen- 
tially and approximately, we should require to be put in pos- 
session of data which can never come within our reach — to 
know possibilities, for the comprehension of which our minds 
would need a different constitution. It is enough for us to 
yield ourselves up to the inferences and impressions flowing 
from the data which we do possess. If, for example, it should 
appear that the inorganic creation, in all that closely woven 
web-work of mechanical, and chemical operations, of which 
man, as yet, has unravelled so little, was only a world of pro- 
spective contrivances for the coming of organic life : if, further, 
it should appear that vegetable life has been adapted to every 
inorganic change and variety — to the bare granite and the 
recent cinders of the volcano, to the emerging coral-reef and 
the dark recesses of the mine, to the sand of the torrid zone 
and the perpetual snow of the poles — as if Wisdom rejoiced 
in the occasion which such apparent difficulties and extremes 
affi^rded for displaying the fertility of its resources ; showing 
that the conditions, destructive of one form of life, can be made 
essential to the existence of another, and that, in its hand, the 
same general plan admits of diversity of adaptation without 
end: and, further, that of all this variety, there has existed a ful- 
ness to which Wisdom alone has assigned the limits, what 
more can be necessary to assure us of the all-sufficiency of the 
Creative Wisdom ? 

6. Now, the truth of these suppositions is undeniable. Veg- 
etable physiology brings to light the fact that, even if the ma- 
terial universe had been constructed solely for the reception of 
organic life, it could not have been more studiously adapted, 
in all its great elements and operations, to the attainment of 
the end, than it actually is. The most scientifically construct- 
ed plant-house, and the most elaborate apparatus that may be 
introduced into it, can only pretend, not to originate, b;i! sinij)ly 
to take advantage of, two or three of these natural adaptations. 


But the wonders of the great Nursery are only as yet in pro- 
cess of discovery. " The half has not been told." Scientific 
botany has arranged between eighty and a lunidred thousand 
species of plants ; and still it continues to add to the number. 
Literally, its " field is the world." Every clod of earth belongs 
to it, and the floor of the ocean. While fossil geology brings 
to light the remains of departed floras, and suggests the idea 
of species not only extinct but effaced ; — as if, amidst the 
prodigality of evidence of design still extant, some of the ear- 
lier illustrations might well be spared. The abundance of 
vegetable life is equal to its variety. " In order to form an 
idea of the luxuriance of vegetation in the former world, and 
of the masses of vegetable matter accumulated by running wa- 
ter, and which have certainly been converted into coal in the 
humid way, I remind the reader that in the Saarbrlick coal 
field there are 1 20 seams of coal lying one over another, ex- 
clusive of a host of smaller seams ; and that some of these 
single seams of coal are of thirty, and others of more than 
fifty feet thick, as at Johnstoun in Scotland, and Creuzot in 

Burgundy It is also well to remember, that these coal 

measures are indebted for no inconsiderable portion of their 
mateiials, not to the trunks of mighty trees, but to small 
grasses, and to frondiferous and low cryptogamic vegetables." i 
At the mouth of the Mississippi, and in the " wood hills " of 
the icy Siberian Sea, the same process of vegetable accumula- 
tion is, probably, still going on. But to estimate the existing 
fulness of vegetable life, it is necessary to remember the mighty 
forests of the tropical zone of South America. And yet, could 
the whole be surveyed, it would be as nothing, probably, com- 
pared with the seeds of organic life enclosed in the crust of 
the earth. KJieaded up with the inorganic material, to an un- 
known depth, are the germs of vegetation ; and only awaiting 
exposure to air and light, in order to " bring forth and bud " 
as if the hand of God had but just sown them. And, not only 
so, but almost every variety of material is found to contain 
a corresponding variety of vegetable existence. So that not 
only may it be said of organic life that its " field is the world," 
but world upon world. 

7. Here, then, is evidence enough to justify the conclusion 
that the Wisdom which has shown itself suflicient for all this 
unexplored range of organic life, is sufficient for every change 

Humboldt's Cosmos. 


of the same kind of which the earth, or even the material uni* 
verse, admits. The question, be it observed, is not whether 
this range, extended as it is, might not have been more ex- 
tended ; this demand is of a kind which no range short of infin- 
ity could satisfy. For even if instead of a hundred thousand 
species, every individual plant had been different from all the 
rest, and every inch of the earth's surface had been crowded 
with vegetable life, the question might have been still raised 
whether the earth itself might not hav#been larger, and so on, 
ad infinitum. In other words, it is to ask for that, which, if 
possible, would yet be useless. But the question is, whether 
the Creative wisdom displayed in the organic stage of the Di- 
vine plan, does not warrant the conviction of its sufficiency for 
the same hind of display to any possible extent. And every one 
who considers the question must feel that it admits of only one 
reply. And hence it is that we can hear of the discovery of 
new vegetable species, not only without surprise, but as if the 
fact merely gratified a feeling of antecedent probability. Nor 
can we doubt that if the earth were to be once more stripped 
of its verdant robe, and if the conditions of organic life were to 
be afterwards restored, cooner or later, it would again look like 
" the garden of the Lord." And, with the same confidence, we 
feel assured that, if similar conditions exist in other worlds, 
the same wisdom which has so often " renewed the face of the 
earth," is sufficient to clothe them with similar beauty, in diver- 
sities without end. 

But, if the design of the organic creation be to illustrate, in 
the sense explained, the sufficiency of the Creative wisdom, we 
shall be ready to admit that not until the evidence of such suf- 
ficiency was complete, could " the fulness of time " for man's 
creation have arrived. Not until it had existed long enough 
to accumulate all the proofs of the truth which it was designed 
to teach, would the " set time " arrive for the coming of the 
creature destined to interpret that truth. And whatever may 
be the apparent hardihood of this view, it entirely vanishes 
when we remember that He who forelaid the plan of the whole 
creative series, makes every part to harmonize with every 
other part, and the whole to subserve the ultimate end. 


Reason of the Method. — In passing from the method of the 
Divine procedure to the reason of the method, we find it to be 


two-fold ; — being founded partly in the constitution of the crea- 
ture hy whom the method is to he studied, and involving His well- 
being, and partly in his destiny, and so involving, in addition, 
the glory of the Divine Creator. 

1. As to the first part of the reason ; it would be easy to 
show that, if the organic world is to be made subservient to 
human interests, the laws of the method are indispensable. 
Without the uniform sequences and dependencies, for example, 
which vegetable life exhibits, its cultivation would be impos- 
S'ible ; indeed, without amenableness to law, it would not be 
even useable. ^ And how impossible would it be for man to 
turn his observations to any scientific account, were it not for 
those relations of analogy and afiinity which arrange the mem- 
bers of the botanic kingdom in an orderly plan ! 

And that which especially marks the wisdom of the Creator 
is the manner in which the medium is observed between bewil- 
dering irregularity on the one hand, and an uninstructive and 
depressing sameness on the other. Only imagine these laws 
to be so obvious as to cost man no effort ; and they would yield 
him no interest. On the contrary, suppose them to be but 
slightly illustrated by fact, or to be inextricably entangled by 
circumstance ; and they would defy liis utmost diligence and 
apphcation. In the first instance, he could not be said to learn ; 
and in the second, nature could not be said to teach. But as it 
is, liis position somewhat resembles that of a child into whose 
lap its parent has thrown a handful of flowers selected for a 
nosegay, but intentionally mingled together, that the taste of 
the child might be cultivated in their re-arrangement; the 
parent taking care that the exercise shall not be so difficult as 
to be hopeless, nor so easy as to be useless. The organic world 
is so constituted that, without either forcing its lessons, or dis- 

^ See on this subject Professor Liebig's " Organic Chemistry in its 
application to Agriculture and Physiology;" a work devoted especially 
to an explanation of the proper food of plants, and to the modes in which, 
and the sources from which, they receive this nourishment. In harmony 
with the subject of this chapter he remarks : — " Innumerable are the aids 
afforded to the means of life, to manufactures and to commerce, by the 
truths which assiduous and active inquirers have discovered and rendered 
capable of practical application. But it is not the mere practical utility 
of these truths which is of importance. Their influence upon mental cul- 
ture is most beneficial ; and the new views acquired by the knowledge of 
them enable the mind to recognise in the phenomena of nature proofs of 
an infinite wisdom, for the unfathomable profundity of which human lan- 
guage has no expression." — p. 6, 


pensing witli attention, it invites observation, and rfewards 
well-directed diligence of every kind and degree. Its " doc- 
trine drops as the rain ; its speech distils as the dew. But its 
instructions are all optional ; man receives them only if he 

2. And as to the second part of the reason, if organized 
nature is to be construed by man so as to subserve the ultimate 
end, all the laws whiclT we have considered as belonging to the 
method of the Divine procedure are, in one respect or another, 
indispensable. In the absence of law, it would be impossible 
for the mind to infer a Law-giver. In the absence of all signs 
of dependence, organic nature would be regarded as proclaim- 
ing its independence. But, here, every vegetable family has 
its place ; every species, its type ; every function, its order ; 
every fibre, its prescribed rule. Here life is found in union 
with organization ; a union, however, which can only be shown 
to be uniform, not necessary. And here, everything relating 
to the commencement of organic life, to its progress, and to 
the filling up of the great plan on which it is formed, must be 
resolved into the will of the Divine Creator ; for even those 
who believe only that laws were originally impressed on mat- 
ter of which all this is the developed result, must admit that 
the entire result was in the original contemplation and choice 
of the Deity. 

3. But here again the evidence needs to be balanced be- 
tween two extremes. If the proof of a Divine agency were 
to be so obvious and cogent as to leave man no option what- 
ever as to the nature of his conclusions respecting it, this would 
be as unsuited to his moral freedom, as the absence of all or 
of adequate proof would be to his rational conviction — a con- 
sideration which applies to every department of the Divine 
procedure; and whicli, if seasonably remembered and applied, 
would answer many objections, and solve many difficulties, re- 
specting it. Accordingly, the evidence is supplied in " weight 
and measure." It is as reserved to one, as it is open and com- 
municative to another. To some, the laws of organic life an- 
swer the purpose only of self-manifestation ; and seem to publish 
both their own sufficiency and the sagacity of the party dis- 
covering or apprehending them ;i while to others, they con- 

^ Dr. Maccixlloch has well remarked of certain philosophers, who never 
" think of a designino; and wise Creator — they searcli, and when they 
have found, they produce the discovery a> a proof of their own wisdom. 


vinclngly declare that their " sufTiciency is of God." To each 
class the same evidence is supplied. For the former, it is not 
so scanty as to excuse their impiety ; nor for the latter, so 
overpowering as to constrain belief, and make virtue impossi- 
ble. It is so graduated and adjusted, that it may be regarded 
as having formed, from the first, a mute prophecy, both of the 
voluntary constitution of the being destined to interpret it, and 
of the end it was designed to answer. 


The ultimate end, — According to our theory, hoih the laws 
of the method, and the proximate reason of it, will find their 
idtimate end, in relation to this stage of the Divine procedure, 
in contributinq to prove the all-stijfficienci/ of the wisdom of 

1. But first, having distinctly stated that each preceding 
display of the Divine perfection may be expected to be brought 
forwards and enlarged through each successive stage of crea- 
tion, and having assigned the grounds of this expectation, we 
have to begin by remarking on its fulfilment in the continued 
exercise of the Divine Power. During the entire period, from 
the introduction of organic life to the creation of man, all the 
pre-existing forces of inorganic matter continued in activity. 
The argument for the power of God, therefore, remained un- 
abated ; rather it was augmented during every moment of the 

2. But here were new displays of power. It originated 
and introduced the new principle of life. It was present' in 
the motion of every plant that waved ; as well as in the me- 
chanical and chemical action constantly going on for the pro- 
duction of soil. It was present in the mountain cedar braving 
the tempest by resistance ; and in the slender flower evading 
the storm by elasticity : in the plenitude of vegetable life which 
crowded the wilderness ; and in the lichen of the almost inde- 

They seek for ends and uses ; and they boast of having seen the means 
and the end, as much as if they had intended the end and invented the 
means. Yet they who boast, should not forget that there was a Wisdom 
which anticipated their own ; that had there not been a Sagacity which 
planned, their own sagacity in tracing the execution would never have 
appeared ; that they are but students, and that in their pride of assigning 
the wisdom and the design, they ought not to overlook Him, the Design- 
er and the Wise, their own designer, and the great Being who gave them 
the power of knowing Himself, their God." — Vol. i. p. 607. 
15 f . . 


structible rock wliich appears to live on through ages, tlie 
only form of life in a region of desolation. It proclaimed its 
presence in the molecular movements and ceaselessly diversi- 
fied currents of every minute cellular structure ; and in the 
organic force which pumps up the sap and diffuses it through- 
out the most gigantic and branching tree. If, for example, as 
it can be shown, a tree of thirty-three feet high, requires a 
pressure of " fifteen pounds upon every square inch in the 
section of the vessels of the bottom, in order merely to support 
the sap," how great must be the power which projDcls the sap 
upwards so as to supply the constant evaporation of the leaves. 
And if this be true of an individual tree, who shall calculate 
the amount of the forces which came into play with every 
outburst of vernal life during the era of the great coal forma- 
tions ! 

3. But power is here seen waiting on Wisdom ; laying out 
her resources to be employed as adaptations and means. Wher- 
ever we look we are impressed with the idea of difficulties 
overcome, difficulties originated as if for the purpose of over- 
coming them, — and overcome, not in one way merely, but in 
ways so gratuitously varied and multiplied as if to impress us 
with the conviction of the inexhaustible resources of the Being 
who has overcome them ; and, further, that He actually intend 
ed to produce this impression. 

4. We have just been showing that the displays of power 
co-exist with those of wisdom, and are even multiplied in her 
service. We have now to recognise the prospective contri- 
vances of wisdom even, in the inorganic world, where before 
we saw nothing but power. Take, for example, the fact that 
granite should have been selected from many other substances 
to constitute the great framework of the earth, in connection 
with its peculiar chemical fitness for the support of vegetable 
life. Animals do not ultimately depend on vegetable food, 
more certainly than vegetables depend on mineral sustenance. 
Primarily, indeed, they depend on the surrounding water, and 
on the moisture which bather their roots : but experiment de- 
monstrates that there are certain other bodies — such as potash 
and phosphoric acid, which are universally present in veget- 
able structures, and essential to their existence. Now there 
is satisfactory evidence to show that these substances formed 
specific ingredients in the granites of the ancient earth ; and 
that, consequently, they were provided ages before the com- 
mencement of organic life, But in vain would this, provision 


have existed, if, in addition, these granite masses had not been 
elevated to form tlie great mountain cliains of the earth ; for 
in this way only could that slow disintegration take place by 
which their liberated materials contribute to produce the fruit- 
bearing soil of the earth. Now who can fail to recognise here 
the bearing of one part upon another, the presence of conspir- 
ing means, of 23reparation and completion ? 

5. "We may notice, also, instances of the remarkable manner 
in which organic life has been adapted to pre-existing laws. 
Had the earth, for example, its astronomical year and its diur- 
nal rotation ? The entire life of annual plants agrees exactly 
with the former, and the circle of action in the perennial tribes 
with the latter. Is the force of the earth's gravity specific ? 
Then must the forces of organic life be precisely adjusted to 
it ; for, were they below a certain amount, the rate of veget- 
able circulation would stop ; or were they in excess, it would 
be accelerated in a manner equally destructive of life. Crea- 
tive wisdom, however, has nicely adapted the minutest parts 
of vegetable structures to the mass of the earth on which they 
exist. Is matter endowed with the properties of tenacity, 
hardness, density, flexibility, and elasticity ? So exquisitely 
is the vegetable constitution adapted to all these, — not in a 
single way, but in a different manner for each species, — that 
a slight alteration in any one of these laws would require the 
reconstruction of the whole. The magnitude of the ocean and 
its extensive currents are related to the magnitude of the 
moveable atmosphere, the repository and the moving force of 
the clouds ; and both combine to the production of such a dis- 
tribution of the temperature as is essential to vegetable life, 
and determines many of its forces. The laws of radiation, 
evaporation, electricity, all sustain vital relation to the organic 
economy ; while light, besides administering the necessary stim- 
ulus to its functions, paints and beautifies every flower that 

6. But the same system of adaptations has reappeared, and 
been applied, through a prolonged succession of geological 
changes ; so that its accommodative power has been always 
receiving additional confirmations. Had we seen the earliest 
organic products of the primitive earth, we should most likely 
have concluded that the then existing condition of the globe 
was essential to their existence. But other conditions of the 
planet succeeded, and the mighty forests now entombed as 
coal formations came with them. And as other chancres fol- 


lowed, plants, of forms and characters now unknown on the 
surface of the earth, succeeded; specimens of which were stored 
away in the grand natural Herbaria of the earth, as if reserv- 
ed* for the purpose of shaming us from setting limits to the 
Creator's power and wisdom. 

7. In speaking of the boundless variety of vegetable life, 
we may take the existing flora of the earth as a specimen of 
all those which have preceded it. The Divine Being might 
have clothed the earth with verdure, and yet have limited the 
whole vegetable variety to two or three species ; but between 
eighty and a hundred thousand species are already ■ classed. 
Had we seen land-plants only, we should have considered the 
existence of aquatic plants an impossibility ; and yet forests 
wave at the bottom of the ocean. Had we seen them only in 
a fertile soil, we should have deemed such a soil essential to 
their existence ; but God has appointed the apparently msig- 
nificant lichen to live on the rock, and it eats for ages into a 
substance which defies the chemical and mechanical forces. 
From the sea-shores, from the bed of the sea, from the deep 
caverns of the earth, upwards, as the land rises, in stages, to 
the Hne of eternal snow, organic life is to be found diffused 
over the entire range. Is land to be rescued from the sea? 
A succession of plants effects the process, each giving place as 
soon as it has prepared the way for a superior species ; others, 
again, being ready to defend and retain the rescued territory. 
Did the Creator determine that the plant should be distinguish- 
ed by definite form ? All the species are obviously construct- 
ed on a general plan ; but, while that plan is never lost sight 
of, the characteristic of figure, color, fragrance, and duration, 
is diversified without end ; and, in many instances, as if for 
the sake of showing that, in the hands of Lifinite Wisdom, 
any single idea admits of endless illustration. Are plants to 
grow by nutrition ? The food which they elaborate and store 
up is not of a single kind merely ; in one tribe it is oil, in 
another fecula, in another lignine, in another sugar, in another 
gum, &c. ; while " an interminable catalogue of other sub- 
stances may be extracted from the juices of different plants, all 
of whicA have been formed by secretion in some part or other of 
their structure." Are they to be continued by reproduction ? 
The modes of sustaining the feeble parent plants are so various- 
ly diversified, as if for the sole object of showing that such 
variety was practicable ; some of these are supported by dif- 
ferent kinds of hooks, others by voluble stems, by claws, by 


voluble leaves, by radicles, by tendrils, &c. The modes of 
protecting seeds comprise unnumbered inventions ; many of 
them so far from simple, that they would seem to be adopted 
only for the sake of demonstrg^ting a power of invention. From 
some plants the seeds simply fall ; from others a mechanical 
force projects them to a distance ; others yield them to the 
power of the winds ; and the seeds of others are winged for 
distant flight. 

8. Now, we do not say that this diversity and exuberance 
of organic life, together with the complicated inorganic arrange- 
ments which it involves, scientifically demonstrates the abso- 
lute infinity of the Divine wisdom. If it did so, all the illus- 
trations of wisdom exhibited in the subsequent stages of the 
Divine procedure would, as further evidence, be superfluous. 
A similar remark to this we made in the preceding Part, when 
inferring the extent of the Divine power from the evidence 
then before us. And from the advanced point we have now 
reached, we can see how great would have been our error if 
we had limited our views of that Power by the_ evidence afford- 
ed by that first stage. For, here we behold it putting forth 
fresh displays, and demonstrating that " the Creator of the ends 
of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary." And, in a simi- 
lar manner, the illustrations of the Divine wisdom have been 
accumulating ever since, and in new departments of creation. 
In hai-mony with which fact, we repeat our conviction, that an 
infinite proof of infinite wisdom can be furnished to finite crea- 
tures, or be received by them, only by a progressive accumu- 
lation through infinite duration, and therefore can only be 
always in process. But we can conceive also of such a dis- 
play of wisdom, within a space and a time not unlimited, as 
should furnish beings capable of reasoning from analogy, witli 
abundant evidence of wisdom unlimited. Such an exercise of 
wisdom we believe to have been displayed in the organic 

9. In bringing this conviction home to the mind, it is to be 
remembered, as a fact of universal admission, that the special 
limitations of matter, and therefore the limitations of the uses 
made of it, are necessitated by the nature of matter itself. Tlie 
material medium for exhibiting design is itself inherently con- 
ditioned by limits. So that we have to determine the question, 
what amount of evidence of design, exhibited under circum- 
stances in which the medium of design itself forbids absolute 
infinity, we, as beings, constituted to infer more than we «f».e, 



should deem an adequate illustration of wisdom unlimited. 
Now we think we are uttering a very sober supposition in 
saying, that the production of the first form of organic life 
that appeai'ed, would be, in the estimation of superior intelli- 
gences, both the sole prerogative and the adequate illustration 
of infinite wisdom. We can conceive of beings to whom that 
simple form would furnish a key to the material universe. For 
them, the full exposition of tlaat single constitution would in- 
volve the exposition of the whole physical creation. But, that 
single specimen was accompanied or followed by a world of 
diversified organizations. It would have been in vain for 
man, had he then lived, to attempt the individual enumeration. 
Now, surely he could not have listened to such an exposition 
of organic life as that to which we have adverted, — a tale of 
ages, — for it must have included the mechanical and chemical 
history of our planet from the beginning ; could not have mark- 
ed how all physical science was presupposed by each organic 
form, and met in it ; how it stood the centre, not of a system 
merely, but of plan within plan, and system within system, 
with all the inorganic laws and elements, like angels, minis- 
tering to it ; and that the same was true of every species, but 
with an endless diversity of details in each ; he could not have 
required ages of such occupation, in order to feel constrained 
to admit, of the Divine Creator, that " His ways are past find- 
ing out !" 

Long as that early geological period may have lasted, it 
would doubtless have come to an end before the supposed 
exposition was completed, for every returning season would 
add to its subjects. While yet the investigation was in pro- 
cess, a new epoch would dawn, and a new world of organic 
wonders come to view. And thus the illustrations of Creative 
wisdom would be accumulating on him in an ever augmenting 
ratio. Surely, as these worlds came before him in a succes- 
sion which promised no end, and yet every one of them exhi- 
biting myriads of differences from all the rest, he would have 
confessed, unnumbered ages ago, " There is no searching of 
His understanding !" Further, when he found that each of 
these varying organic worlds as it came before him was not 
only perfect in itself; and perfect from the first ; but that each 
formed part of a plan which comprehended the whole ; a plan 
presupposed by the whole series, and which had been invari- 
ably adhered to amidst all the endless modifications which its 
principles were always receiving; and a plan which, while 


retaining in the original and appropriate places the fossil re- 
mains of every extinct family, provided a definite place for 
every new creation, and every additional species, he could not 
forbear exclaiming, " O Lord, how manifold are thy works ; 
in wisdom hast thou made them all !" In the imaginary posi- 
tion we have described, he could not but feel, as every onward 
step in the organic series brought with it an incalculable amount 
of evidence of the Divine wisdom^ to be added to all the accu- 
mulations of the past, that the Being who had designed all 
this could have covered the earth, had it been ten times larger 
than it is, with a proportionate enlargement of the organic 
plan ; that, if He has not clothed every distant star with veo-e- 
table life, it is not owing to any limit or exhaustion of His 
designing power ; and that the organic worlds of past time are 
only a specimen of the manner in which He could go on vary- 
ing the details of organic adaptations for ever. And when he 
saw that there was no prospect of an end to His designs ; and 
remembered that, as the Divine power of the inorganic stage 
had been brought on into the organic, so the Divine wisdom 
of the organic stage would probably receive fresh illustrations 
in some new economy, he would feel that he was in the pre- 
sence of wisdom all-sufficient, and acknowledge, " Great is the 
Lord, and of great power ; His understanding is infinite !" 


The Third Stage of the Divine Manifestation : 


Let it be imagined that another extended period has 
elapsed since we took our last survey of creation, and beheld 
the wisdom of God as displayed in the wonders of vegetable 
life. It seems but natural that the view, so far from leading 
us to conclude that we had reached the ultimatum of Divine 
Manifestation, would have awakened "rather an expectation of 
beholding ulterior displays. The Being, we might have said, 
whose Power called this visible universe into existence, and 
whose Wisdom has ever been conducting it from one stage to 
another, till it is literally organizing its elements and exhibit- 
ing them in the possession of life, can surely know no limits to 
His operations but such as the same Wisdom may see fit to pre- 
scribe. The use which He had made of matter when last we 
looked on the scene of creation, seems to warrant the conjec- 
ture that, if life can be added to matter, something equally 
wonderful may be added to life. What if that addition should 
consist of enjoyment ! Who can say but that in the revolution 
of ages, the period may come when forms of organized being 
may not only live, but move and be happy ! 

1. Another visit to the object of our meditations is at length 
permitted us ; and a scene opens to our view which compels 
us to exclaim, " How great is his goodness ! " For the sake 
of illustration, let the season of our supposed visit be fixed, 
long after the new era of animal existence had commenced, 
yet before the time of the Adamic creation ; and let it be ima- 
gined that the vai*ious changes wliich, at long intervals, had 


occurred since our last visit, were all laid open to us. We 
should find that not only had the great change itself, which 
had been the subject of our conjectures, taken place — that 
vegetable life had been actually succeeded by animal enjoy- 
ment — but that even that enjoyment had reached a point 
which awoke the expectation of something greater still at hand. 

2. In the last Part^we saw vegetable life in the solitary 
and entire occupation — we say not for any length of time — 
of the advancing earth ; we saw it in busy and diversified ac- 
tivity, preparing the way, in some places, both for the coming 
of higher orders of its own kind of life, by producing the ne- 
cessary kind of soil, and for the Divine origination of that ani- 
mal life wliich it was destined to support. We beheld in its 
presence, and varieties, and rapid increase, an indication that 
the Great and Provident Householder was contemplating the 
arrival of unnumbered guests. Now we find, not only that 
they have come, but that, since their first appearance, the crust 
of the globe has undergone many a revolution, and has exhi- 
bited many a rich and varied surface of vegetable life, crowd- 
ed with corresponding forms of animated existence. While, 
on each occasion, there is reason to believe the same order has 
been observed as to the subsequence of animal to vegetable 
life : an inorganic change being followed by a corresponding 
change in vegetation ; and a change in vegetation followed by 
appropriate species of animated beings. 


3. Goodness. — We have not yet to speak of the extent of 
the Divine benevolence to be inferred from this new form of 
existence. We have only, at present, to regard it as evincing 
the exiMence of goodness in the Creator. Hereafter we shall 
have to view it as furnishing new illustrations also of the Crea- 
tive power and wisdom already displayed in the preceding 
stages. But, for the present, we have only to do with the law, 
that every Divinely originated effect is a result, of which the su- 
preme and idlimate reason is in the Divine nature. Now, here, 
in the animal kingdom, is a being constructed for enjoyment ; 
each of its movements yielding it gratification ; each of its 
senses an inlet to pleasure : and the whole is ever preparing 
the way for greater enjoyment still, and finding happiness in 
the occupation. If the reason for the existence of this creature 
is to be sought in the Divine Creator, so also must be the rea- 


son of its enjoyment. Even if there were no purpose of mani- 
festing the Divine All-sufficiency — if the creation were to be 
limited to a single creature — still, as every effect must be, in 
some sense, like its cause, that single creature would be, not 
indeed, formally, but virtually, a manifestation, pro tmnto, of 
some property of the Divine Nature. But here is not merely 
an individual animal designed for enjoyment, nor a single spe- 
ciesy but a world, a succession of worlds, filled with animal en- 
joyment. What property of the Divine Creator can this fact 
be supposed to manifest, but that He, "the Happy God," is 
good, or delights to impart happiness ! 

4. But is animal pain and death, especially the system of 
prey, compatible with the goodness of the Creator ? We ad- 
mit, first, that death, and even the system of prey, were origi- 
nally intended by God. That the former was, will be, in gen- 
eral, readily admitted. In proof of the latter, we have merely 
to call attention to the fact that whole tribes of animals are 
expressly constructed for it. Their instincts and organization 
prepare them to be engines of destruction. 

5. But, then, secondly, the pain attending animal death by 
violence is apparently reduced to its minimum. For, 1, the 
animal knows not that death is the extinction of life. Yet this 
is the very consideration which, in the case of man, gives to 
death all its bitterness. 2. As the animal knows not that it is 
ceasing to be, even when it is in the article of death, the diffi- 
culty is, in reality, reduced to one of physical pain merely. 
For as to its unconscious removal by death, no objection can 
be consistently raised against such an arrangement in the ani- 
mal world, apart from the attendant pain, any more than 
against the corresponding arrangement in the vegetable world. 
And yet we there admired the wisdom which made a loAver 
order of vegetable organization subservient by death to a 
higher order. Now, it should, be remembered that the dying 
animal is as unconscious of its fate as the dying plant ; the 
only question to be resolved then, we repeat, is one of animal 
pain. 3. There appears to be a law of graduating sensibility 
pervading the animal kingdom; according to which, the degree 
of feeling diminishes as the organization descends in the scale ; 
till, as we approach the point at which it touches the vegetable 
kingdom, it verges on total insensibility to pain. We are 
aware that in proportion to this reduction must be the reduc- 
tion also of animal enjoyment during life. But while death is 
the event of a moment the enjoyment of life is to be multi- 


plied by all the moments though which it is prolonged. Now, 
as the myriad tribes of these inferior orders constitute tlie sta- 
ple of animal food, the arrangement provides, in so far, for the 
least possible amount of suffering; if, indeed, in their case, 
there be any suffering at all. 4. And then, as to one large 
animal preying upon another, though the sensibility is greater, 
•it is subject to great deductions on some of the grounds already 
adverted to ; and, by a simple, if not a special, contrivance, 
death is rendered as sudden, and therefore as easy, as possible. 
That the predatory animal should kill before it begins to de- 
vour, is a beneficent provision. Some animals, it is well 
known, seize on the carotid arteries ; in consequence of which, 
death speedily ensues. But the fact to which we allude is, 
that at one particular point of the neck, near the skull, a 
wound of the spinal nerve produces instant death, and appa- 
rently without suffering. Now, while man has discovered this 
fact only by experiment, the predatory animals have always 
made this part of the spine the object of attack. 

6. This animal death is an unavoidable part of the present 
constitution of creation. . That constitution, we have shown, is 
progressive. In order to prepare the earth for man, it has 
been subjected to successive revolutions. The coal which 
forms our fuel is the produce of the destruction of plants, pre- 
served from former worlds. But that provision involved the 
death of all the myriad forms of life and enjoyment with which 
the woods of the ancient earth were crowded. And were un- 
known ages of animal enjoyment to be then withheld, because 
a physical revolution was eventually, and for a time, to inter- 
rupt it ? 

7. " But might not these revolutions have been spared, and 
the earth have been created at the first as we now G.nd it ? " 
In many respects, it is progressive still. The lichen and the 
moss produce a soil on which they can no longer live-; new 
races of plants follow^ in succession, improving with every 
change, and occupying the once arid waste. Insects and rep- 
tiles at first possessed it, for it could maintain nothing better ; 
but as it has improved, superior races have successively come 
into possession. Were ages of reptile and insect life to be 
withheld, because the progressive change involved theii* ulti- 
mate extinction, for a higher order of life ? 

8. "But might not such progression have been rendered 
unnecessary by making the entire amount of animal and vege- 
table life, as well as the state of the globe, unchangeable from 


the beginning?" The inquirer may not fore.see that this is to 
ask, in eifect, whether the Divine Being might not have adopted 
a mode of government entirely and essentially diiferent from 
that which He has chosen ; for if one part be changed, every 
part must undergo a corresponding change. A world of im- 
mortal animals and plants ; a world that knew no climatic% 
change, no seasons, no organic nor. inorganic variety — a stag- 
nant and unprogressive creation — would be as unsuited to the 
created as to the Creating mind. 

9. It might be suggested, also, that the continuance of the 
first created animals, and of everything else to correspond, 
would force on the attention of man evidence of their miracu- 
lous origin, too obvious and overbearing for a system of free 
agency. Besides which, (and this is the adequate answer to 
the implied objection,) such an unchangeable state of the ani- 
mate creation would inconceivably diminish the amount of 
animal enjoyment. So that if the greatest degree and diffu- 
sion of such enjoyment be the object in view, the supposed . 
change would defeat itself That object can be obtained only 
by death, and specially by the system of prey. And shall the 
comparatively small amount of pain which that system involves 
prevent the incalculable amount of animal fecundity and en- 
joyment which it necessarily presupposes ? For the right 
view of this part of the question seems to be that, if animals 
are to be sustained by food, it is more consistent with the 
greatest amount of enjoyment that a certain proportion of that 
food should be animated, and be filled with pleasure until it is 
wanted, than that it should be inanimate and incapable of en- 
joyment, i • 

10. " Then might not animal life have been sustained on 
vegetable food alone?" Not only would such an arrange- 
ment — as we have seen — inconceivably diminish the amount 
of animal life and enjoyment which exists under the present 
arrangement, it would still leave death in the animal world, 
from the ten thousand sources of what are called accident. 
The foot of the ox would crush the insects in the grass ; the 
breeze waft them by myriads into the stream ; and the evapo- 
ration and exhaustion of the lake leave the fish dead on the 
shore. Nothing less than perpetual miracle could have saved 
them from destruction. And thus it is, in the all-related sys- 
tem of creation, that a single essential alteration would throw 

* See Note E. 


the whole into disorder, or be a virtual repeal of the entire 
scheme ; and that every objection made against it involves an 
mcalcidahle reduction of animal life and enjoyment^ and is 
therefore incompatible with the Divine benevolence. 

11. " Then might not animal death have been unaccompan- 
ied even with the smallest degree of suffering ? " To this olyec- 
tion it seems to be a sufficient reply, that sensibility to pain is but 
the necessary alternative to sensibility to pleasure ; — that in 
few things is the beneficence of God more strikingly apparent 
than in the arbitrary manner in which he has arranged the ani- 
mal system so as to economise pain ; rendering each nerve be- 
longing to a sense, for instance, sensitive to pain only from the 
excess of that impression which constitutes its peculiar function, 
(as the optic nerve from excess of light, but not from excess of 
sound also, and that of the ear from excess of sound, but not 
of hght ; ) — that this sensibiHty to pain operates as a necessary 
warning of danger, without which the animal would soon and 
inevitably perish ; so that its benevolent language is emphati- 
cally, " Do thyself no harm ; take timely warning, and be 
happy ;" — and that this possibility of pain could not be sepa- 
rated from the powers of sense without miraculous interposi- 
tion, since it is the natural consequence of their functions. In 
addition to which, it should be observed, that where death is 
the simple consequence of age, the power of feeling does grad- 
ually cease before that event arrives. It is benevolently ar- 
ranged that the prior departure of physical sensibility shall 
leave the final struggle to be carried on by the vital powers 
alone. So that the animal passes through a state of stupor 
into the sleep of death. 

12. According to the existing arrangements of creation, then, 
we behold, on the one hand, a system of provisions for securing 
the greatest amount of animal life ; for only a small proportion 
of it could find the necessary sustenance in any other way than 
that of prey ; so that if animals, we repeat, are to be sustained 
by food, it is more consistent with the Divine goodness that a 
certain proportion of that food should be animated and filled 
with enjoyment until it is wanted, than that it should be inani- 
mate and incapable of pleasure. While, on the other hand, we 
find a number of remarkable provisions for reducing the paia 
involved in this system of animal enjoyment, to the smallest 
amount. Other and higher considerations we omit ; such as 
the fact that animal sensibility forms a perpetual appeal to 
human sensibihty, and is an important means of its improve- 



ment ; and the manner in which the progressiveness of crea- 
tion is made subservient to the moral education and advance- 
ment of the beings to whom the Divine Manifestation is made, 
and worthy of Him who makes it. But we are content with 
having shown that a fact which might at first appear to dimin- 
ish the claims of the Divine goodness, becomes, when viewed 
in its relations, an occasion for enlarging our conceptions of 
Creative benevolence, by showing that it secures animal exist- 
ence and enjoyment to the greatest amount. 

13. And thus we have found, as the great Reason led us to 
expect, that every stage and object of creation is an exponent 
of some characteristic of the Divine Nature. 


The 'past brought forwards. — ^^By the principle which requires 
that the laws of the past should he brought forwards to the present^ 
we are led to expect that the elements and results of the mine- 
ral and vegetable kingdom will be found brought on into the 
animal kingdom. 

1. Accordingly, though the animal is more withdrawn from 
the inorganic world, in point of rank, than the vegetable, it is 
still amenable to all those laws of inanimate matter which 
make it a part of the great material system. Here is the 
law of gravitation, by which the animal stands. Here is me- 
chanical force, illustrating its laws, and distributing its levers 
and fulcra, in a way which enables it to fulfil a thousand dis- 
tinct purposes. The various secretions are complicated pro- 
ducts of chemical action ; though no artificial chemistry can 
imitate them. Here light and air find appropriate organs ; and 
electricity finds functions and properties expressly adapted for 
its development and action. The same laws which operate in the 
formation of the silicious crystals, here compose the skeleton 
of many zoophytes, and the calcareous crystals of many radia- 
ted animals. The simple symmetry of vertebrate animals, and 
the pentagonal symmetry of radiate animals, show that we are 
still investigating the productions of a Being who is acting on 
general principles, and filling up a plan. While the presence 
of organic life in its leading functions, nutrition and reproduc- 
tion, shows that the vegetable and animal kingdoms are con- 
nected parts of a great whole. Of these facts, numerous illus- 
trations will- occur as we proceed; none of them, however, 
tending to efface the great chacteristics which separate the 


organic kingdom from the inorganic, and the animal kingdom 
from both. 

2. Thus we have seen pre-existing laws brought on into 
each succeeding stage of creation; the inorganic into the 
organic, and both these into the animal kingdom. 


Progress. — Our theory leads us to inquire next for the in- 
dications of progress, or for the irdroduction of new laws. And 
we find animal life superadded to the vegetable or organic life. 
Now it is obvious to remark that the comparison of the two 
must be drawn, not between the highest form of the one and 
the lowest form of the other, but between the more elaborate 
and perfect forms of each division. Were it our object to 
show the contiguity and continuity of the two organized king- 
doms, we might then (as we shall hereafter have occasion to 
do) point out the principles which they have in common, and 
the points at which they appear to touch and even blend. But 
in illustrating their distinctive characteristics, it would be as 
irrelevant to compare the lowest state of animal life with the 
highest form of vegetable life, as it would be to compare the 
lowest form of vegetation with the highest form of animal 
existence. Taking both, however, in their more perfect states, 
it will be found that the animal world diifers from the vegeta- 
ble, as widely as both these differ from the mineral. So 
marked is this difference, that were the various endowments 
which are distributed separately throughout the whole vegeta- 
ble world to be concentrated in a single plant, the superiority 
of an animal, taken promiscuously from the herd, would still 
be instantly and abundantly manifest. 

2. When treating of vegetable physiology, we saw that 
organic life includes a series of functions by which the individ- 
ual plant is preserved and the species continued. Now the 
physiology of animals discloses the fact, that they possess func- 
tions analogous to those of vegetables ; and that, in addition to 
these, and distinct from them, they possess also the functions 
of a higher order of life, involving sensibility and locomotion. 
Each kind of life has its own system of organs. The centre of 
the organic life is the heart ; of the animal life, the brain. The 
functions of organic life act continuously ; those of animal life 
intermittingly. The former operate unconsciously and in- 
voluntarily ; the latter not so. Such ai*e some of the lead- 


ing distinctions between tlie functions of organic and animal 

3. Accordingly, Bichat lias shown (and the distinction is 
now generally accepted,i) that the natural division of the com- 
plex animal system is twofold. Such parts as the heart, the 
intestines, and whatever acts independently of the will, and 
withotit the consciousness of the subject, belong to what he 
denominates the vegetative or organic life. While the senses, 
and the parts that bring the system into voluntary relation 
with the external world, he calls the animal life. In the plant, 
life is endowed only, at most, with the property of excitability ; 
in the animal, it superadds to this property, those of sensation, 
perception, passion, mental association, and impelled volition, 
foUowed by the expression of that volition in muscular contrac- 
tion. To the plant is assigned the power of drawing nourish- 
ment from inorganic matter — mere earths, salts, and airs; 
while the aliments by which animals are nourished are derived 
from animal or vegetable substances alone. Whence plants, 
says M. Richerand, may be considered as the laboratories in 
which nature prepares ahment for animals; and thus, we may 
add, emphatically seals their superiority. 

4. But what is the nature of that instinctive mind by which 
the animal is especially distinguished from the vegetable crea- 
tion ? The difficulty of giving what may be deemed a satisfac- 
tory reply to this question, arises, perhaps, not so much from 
any inherent profundity in the sulDJect, as from our necessary 
ignorance, or inabihty to obtain the requisite data; and from 
the prepossessions respecting it of those who are too much 
amused with the facts to examine the reasons, and who would 
rather "see in the shifting cloud what shapes they please." 

5. With a view to a reply, however, let us first mark the 
distinctions which exist among the functions of the animal life 
itself. Analogous in office to the excitability of the plant, is 
the sensibility of the animal ; though the latter is secured by a 
nobler arrangement than the corresponding property in the 
vegetable, and is made to answer additional ends. The animal 
is placed in new and wonderful relations to the external world 
by the organs of touch, hearing, sight, &c. United to these 
organs is a system of nerves which conveys " sensations from 
the organs of sense inwards, so as to make these sensations the 

^ See Dr. Playfair's Abstract of Liebig's Report on Organic Chemistry 
applied to Physiology and Pathology, read at the Meeting of the British 
Association, 1842. 


objects of the animal's consciousness." And in "the hio-her 
animals these impressions upon the nerves are all conveyed to 
one organ, the brain." Here then is one step towards an 
explanation of the functions of animal life. 

6. But what part of its physical structure is it by which the 
animal on receiving these impressions changes its posture, its 
place, or its action ? It is now satisfactorily ascertained that 
the immediate agents in such motions are the muscles. The 
property by which, under natural stunulus, they produce 
raotion, has been termed irritability, or, more properly, contrac- 
tility, from the manner in which they contract in the movement 
of the limbs. Here, then, is another and a distinct step in the 
explanation. ^ The sensations which the animal feels, and the 
muscular action which it consequently exerts, may be insepara- 
bly connected ; yet are they obviously distinguishable. Animal 
sensibiUty has the nerves for its organs ; animal contractility, 
the muscles. The former is the passive; the latter, the active 
element of animal Hfe. The former seems preparatory to 
whatever of instinct, intelligence, or mind may be expressed 
by the latter. So that between these two extreme term^ lies 
the sphere of our present inquiry. 

7. Now, if we mark the effect directly consequent on certain 
sensations, we shall find that the animal appears to have 
received a notice or knowledge of the external object which 
has occasioned them. And the knowledge thus acquired is 
called perception. Here, then, is a connection apparently men- 
tal. The knowledge resulting from the sensation, reveals the 
existence of animal mind ; of something, at least, which is not 
material, and which is not merely vital ; but is distinct from, 
and superior to, both. 

8.^ If next, we mark the effect consequent on certain per- 
ceptions, we shall find that they are apparently followed by 
volitions : by which we mean that mental act which immediate- 
ly determines muscular action. And thus there intervenes 
between the two states of sensation and muscular contraction, 
the two links of perception and voUtion. So that " the cycle 
of operations which appears to take place when animals act in 
reference to external objects is this, sensation, perception, 
volition, muscular contraction ; "^ the brain being the seat or 
centre to wliich sensation tends, and from which voHtion pro- 

^ Dr. Whewell's Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, ii. p. 71. 


It is not intended by these remarks that the supposed men- 
tal part of this process clearly and consciously attends every 
animal action. At least, man, while performing the ordinary 
acts of breathing, walking, &c., is but faintly conscious of the 
sensations and volitions which these acts imply. So that, in 
representing the sensation and muscular action of animals as 
connected by the intermediate process of perception and voli- 
tion, we must be regarded as stating only an extreme case. 

But, at this stage of the subject, the question arises, whether 
the cycle we have described includes the whole of the process 
belonging to the operation of animal mind or instinct ; or, 
whether, in addition to the four steps named, there may not be 
at least a fifth. In entertaining this question, indeed, we shall 
be anticipating that side of the subject which compares the 
animal with the human mind ; yet, an adequate view of the 
inquiry will not allow us to postpone it. 

Now, it will be admitted, that, in the human mind, at least, 
one additional link intervenes between perception and volition. 
To this link we will give the general name, not of understand- 
ing, but of reason ; by which we mean, the power which the 
mind has of deducing universal truths from particular appear- 
ances, or of contemplating the ideal relations of things; and 
of willing or determining, in harmony with such ideas, on the 
means necessary to the attainment of a proposed end. The 
question to be decided, then, may assume this simple form, is 
the volition of brutes determined without the intervention of 
reason ? 

The great end of instinct appears to be the preservation of 
life in the individual, and its perpetuation in the species. That 
man occasionally trains and turns it to a different account, 
does not affect the truth of the statement. During all the 
ages prior to human existence, and wherever the animal is left 
undisturbed by the influence of human reason, the direct and 
only reference of its instincts is to the continuance of its race. 
And as this is their only obvious end, so the various ways in 
which it is gained, by the different species, is evidently pre- 
determined by the organization peculiar to each. From which 
it is inferred by some that wherever there is life there is 
instinct ; or, that instinct and life are co-extensive. 

9. Instinctive motions, viewed in this enlarged sense, are of 
difiterent classes. First, there are those which belong to . or- 
ganic life, and which may be called vital. These are common 
to plants and animals ; such as the involuntary processes of 


secretion and assimilation. But whether these processes shouh] 
be regarded as instinctive or not, is immaterial to the i)rinci- 
pal point at issue. 

10. Second, there are those instincts which call into action 
the muscles considered to be under the control of volition, and 
which may be called adaptive. Such are the actions of the 
new-born young of animals ; the beautiful and perfect nest- 
building of birds ; and the mathematical cell-making of bees. 
These constitute the great class of actions, allowed, on almost 
all hands, to be strictly instinctive ; and whose direct tendency 
is to the continuance of animal existence. And yet, as far as 
the animal is promoting this object, it is evidently acting to- 
wards an end which is unknown to itself; and, therefore, act- 
ing blindly. Agreeably to Paley's definition of instinct, it is 
acting " prior to experience, and independent of instruction," 
and, we might add, with a perfection which no instruction could 
teach, and no experience improve. 

11. And, thirdly, there are those which appear to be the 
result of experience, and which discover a power of selecting 
means for proximate ends according to varying circumstances : 
these may be said to be mental. To this class of actions per- 
tain those remarkable instances of animal sagacity, at the reci- 
tal of which every one has been more or less interested and 
astonished, and which have even suggested to some the extrav- 
agant idea of a system of animal metaphysics. 

The remainder of our remarks on instinct will be restricted 
to this class ; and our object will be to show that, even allow- 
ing some mental act to intervene, in such instances, between 
perception and volition, that intermediate act or operation is 
not what we intend by reasoning. 

1. That an action ascribable to reason in man, would, when 
performed by an animal, be hastily ascribed to the same prin- 
ciple, was antecedently probable. But to do this is to forget 
that just as rational, and quite analogous, would it be to infer, 
that because the bird constructs its nest by instinct, and the 
bee its cell, therefore, if a man attempts an imitation of that 
nest or that cell, he acts under the impulse of instinct also. 

2. If what the animal does evidently from instinct, is done 
better, and is of greater importance to the end of its existence, 
than that which it does from what some would ascribe to a 
higher faculty, it seems unphilosophical to ascribe the superior 
efforts to the inferior principle, and the lower efforts to the 
liigher principle. Now, probably, no one supposes that the 


lamb when it first follows its mother, and adapts its muscular 
action to the form of the ground, knows anything of the geo- 
metrical relations which the action involves ; or that the dog, 
in hunting only a certain kind of animal, and in crossing the 
field repeatedly, to scent it, knows anything of the doctrines 
of Resemblance and of Space ; or that the bird, in its first 
flight, adjusting its effort to the distance and height of the flight 
with mechanical precision, really recognises the doctrine of 
force. All this is attributed to instinct. If then, under differ; 
ent circumstances, the animal should afterwards be found act- 
ing differently, consistency would seem to require that the dif- 
ference should be ascribed to the provisional operation of the 
same instinct. If the bird' on perceiving that the rising stream 
is approaching its half-finished nest, begins to build higher up 
the bank, it does but build on the spot where it would have 
placed its nest at first, had the waters then been as high as 
they have since become, and the end in both cases is the same 
— the continuance of its species. 

3. If animals ever perform actions from instruction or ex- 
perience, to which human sagacity would be unequal, it must 
result either from an instinctive intelligence, or (which would 
be proving too much,) from the exercise of a reason superior 
to man's. Now the great majority of the remarkable feats re- 
lated of animals are of this description. The advocates of 
brute rationality, in their anxiety to do the best for their 
clients, adduce illustrations of so remarkable a nature as to 
show that no human reason would have been competent to 
such doings. Such, for example, are those instances in which 
an animal reads in the countenance of its master that he con- 
templates its destruction, and absents itself accordingly ; or in 
which it knows, better perhaps than its master, that he is about 
to take a certain favorite walk, and runs on before to secure a 
share in the enjoyment ; or, in which it finds its way straight 
home again when it had been taken by a circuitous route, and 
blindfolded, to a great distance. It was this want of discrim- 
ination, in ascribing to reason, actions which had not afforded 
scope for reasoning, and which were too quick and too certain 
for anything but instinct, which led Descartes i to say, " their 
doing many things better than ourselves does not prove them 
to be endowed with reason, for this would prove them to have 
more reason than we have, and that they are capable of excell- 

^ In Ills treatise De Methodo. 


ing US in all other things also ; but it rather proves them to be 
void of reason." 

4. If the most wonderful feats of animal sagacity are tlie 
result of human instruction, such instances only show the 
adaptiveness,. within certain fixed and narrow limits, of the 
mental instinct. It was antecedently probable, in a world 
whose regularity is made consistent with variety, and whose 
every principle admits of diversified application, that the high- 
er order of animals would find scope for their instinctive mind 
within a certain range. Even the plant has a confined power 
of adapting itself to circumstances. It is only in analogy with 
nature, that the dog, for example, the most instinctively saga- 
gious of animals, if he become the companion of man, and so 
be made to feel indirectly the influence of the human mind, 
should have all its better adaptations brought to Hght ; though 
itself entirely unconscious of the fact. Compared with its con- 
dition in the preadamite earth, the domestic dog is now in 
another world, walking among gods. " Man is to him instead 
of a god, or melior natural ^ And, while there is no ground 
to believe that, if the canine race existed a thousand ages be- 
fore man appeared on the earth, a single trait of the instinctive 
sagacity we now so much admire, had ever been exhibited by 
them, so neither is there reason to conclude that such sagacity 
is now the result of anything higher than an instinctive adap- 
tiveness, of which they themselves have no intelligent per- 

5. If, again, the power of performing extraordinary feats be 
hereditary, it cannot be the result of reason or of knowledge ; 
for knowledge and reason are not, in this way transmissible. 
A paper of Mr. Knight's, read before the Royal Society, 2 
shows that even the acquired faculties of dogs — the expei^t- 
ness they gain by teaching, descends in the race. ""He found 
the young and untaught ones (springing spaniels) as skilful as 
the old ones, not only in finding and raising the woodcocks, but 
in knowing the exact degree of frost which will drive those 
birds to springs and rills of unfrozen water." It is evident 
that such a fact cannot be adduced in favor of animal ration- 
ality ; for the knowledge exhibited was strangely possessed 
without instruction or experience ; and the reasoning, if there 
had been any, being destitute of data, must have been nothing 
less than a train of a priori speculation. 

* Baton's Essay on Atheism. 

* Quoted in Lord Brougham's Dissertations, &.C., vol. i. j). 140 


• 6. Among the presumptive proofs against the rationality of 
animals, it is, we think, justly alleged that, while man can 
transmit the knowledge which he has gained by experience, 
from generation to generation, conscious of its being experi- 
ence, and that it is capable of receiving indefinite addition and 
application, the experience of animals, confined at most within 
narrow limits, is incapable of accumulation and transmission. 
So that the bee and the beaver of to-day, build no better than 
the bee and the beaver of a thousand years ago. 

7. Another fact, of the same class, noticed by Adam Smith, 
is, that animals practice nothing approaching to barter. The 
most barbarous South Sea Islander will eagerly part with his 
rude ornaments and his food for a piece of iron. But even the 
animal which collects stores for the winter, shows that, in mak- 
ing this provision, he is impelled by instinct and not by fore- 
sight, for he is incapable of making an exchange which might 
exempt him from the trouble of collecting stores. 

8. But, perhaps, the great fact which lies against the ra- 
tionality of brutes, is, that they are destitute of the power of 
speech. To say that they have voices, or articulate language, 
adequate to the indication of certain appetites and passions, 
only increases the force of the remark. For how unlikely is 
it that they would be endowed with the means of expressing 
animal feelings, and be denied the power of imparting ideas, 
supposing them to have ideas to impart. And besides the 
inconsistency, perhaps few things would seem to impugn the 
goodness of the Creator more, than to withhold from a crea- 
ture capable of even very limited reasoning, the faculty of ex- 
pressing and imparting its reasonings. 

9. But it may be asked, whether the power of inarticulate 
signs which animals possess, may not be adequate to the com- 
munication of thought ? " The intention and the capacity, of 
expressing thought" says W. Humboldt,^ " is the only thing 
which characterizes the articulate sound ; and nothing else can 
be fixed on to designate its difference from the animal cry on 
the one hand, or the musical tone on the other." To which it 
may be sufficient to add, that, arguing from analogy, inarticu- 
late cries serve only for the expression of sensations and pas- 
sions. Hence man, during infancy, when he has only feel- 
ings to express, has only the limited signs and cries of the 
animal. With the dawning of thought conies its appropriate 

' Quoted ii Liebcr's Political Ethics, p. 12. 


vehicle, speech ; ar.d, aUhoiigh, afterwards, thought and feel- 
ing are generally combined in his vocal communications, it is 
worthy of remark that, in proportion as he essays to express 
unmingled feeling or passion, as in moments of great danger 
or pain, he invariably falls back on inarticulate sounds and in- 

10. As little would it serve the purpose of an objector, and 
as much serve our own, to say that the animal is not entirely 
denied the organs of speech ; for this would only increase the 
incongruity of giving an animal both reason, and organs for 
expressing it, and yet withholding from it the medial link, 
whatever it may be, necessary to connect and develop both. 
That some animals, especially birds, have at least imperfect 
organs of speech, is evident, for they can be taught to speak ; 
and the only reason which can be assigned why they do not 
utter a single untaught sentence of their own, is that they have 
not a single thought to express. For " in a question respect- 
ing the possession of reason, the absence' of all proof is tan- 
tamount to a proof of the contrary." i 

11. But, while the train of our remarks impels us to the con- 
clusion that, in the mental process of the animal, reason does 
not intervene between its perceptions and its volitions, it forci- 
bly indicates what may or does intervene, namely, the opera- 
tion of appetites, passions, habits, and, not recollection, but 
memory or associations of past impressions. To the expres- 
sion of these alone, its sounds and signs are adequate ; and of 
these alone we believe it to be conscious. As sensation issues 
in perception, perception awakens desire or attachment, aver- 
sion or anger, fear or the operation of habit, or some past 
impression or mental association ; the influence of this again 
determines the vohtions necessarily, and determines them dif- 
ferently according as they act feebly or powerfully, singly 
or in combination ; while the volitions, so determined, issue in 
corresponding muscular action. The relation of the Divine 
agency to animal instinct, will be a subject for after consid- 

12. Having thus considered the subject independently, we 
may now be allowed to glance at it in its relation to the un- 
folding of that great system of Divine procedure of which it 
forms a part. We are not aware that the conclusions at which 
we have ai-rived have been in the least degree biassed by a 

' Coleridge's Aids to Reflection, p. 294 


reference to that system. If, therefore, on comparing them 
with the expectations wliich tliat system would naturally sug- 
gest, we find them harmonize with each other, we shall be en- 
titled to regard such harmony as additional evidence of the 
truth of our conclusions. And besides this, we shall feel the 
advantage of being able to bring our independent conclusions 
to the test of an independent system, and of there finding, so 
to speak, a place awaiting these conclusions. For to the want 
of such a test it is, we think, to be chiefly ascribed that so 
much diversity and uncertainty of opinion on the subject, pre- 
vails. We will only premise farther, that it is not our pur- 
pose to do more at present than barely to indicate some of 
those expectations to which we refer ; leaving the more com- 
plete exposition of them to their proper places in the coming 

13. If, for instance, in our hypothetical visit to the scene 
of the advancing creation, we had been forewarned that the 
animal kingdom was only to form a part of the creation, but 
was not to be that part to which the Divine manifestation was 
to be made, what more reasonable than to expect that we 
should find a form of existence naturally incapable of recog- 
nising the great design ? Now this is to expect that the ani- 
mal kingdom will be found irrational ; destitute alike of that 
faculty of concluding universal truths from particular appear- 
ances, which would have referred it back to its origin ; and of 
that power of proposing an ultimate end, and- of determining 
the will by ideas, which would have pointed it on to the chief 
and last end of all things. And accordingly, we do not find 
that it exhibits the least evidence of reason thus interpreted. 

14. But if this stage of creation is to manifest the goodness 
of the Creator, the animal must not be endowed even with the 
power of recognising its humble position in the scale of crea- 
tion, otherwise its enjoyment might be completely marred. 
Accordingly, it occupies its place as a link, unconscious of its 
office, in the yet ascending but unfinished series of being ; and 
is incapable alike of mentally " looking before or after." 

15. But, though unconscious of the ultimate design of crea- 
tion, an end it must and does answer. The tendency of all its 
motions, voluntary and involuntary, is to preserve its own life, 
and to perpetuate its kind. Yet must it not be allowed to be 
conscious that it is answering even this end ; otherwise the 
same mental power, which would enable it to recognise this 
fact, would enable it to recognise other truths, and might fill 


its life with care and anxiety. Accordingly, the bird, while 
patiently sitting on its eggs, week after week, is ignorant of 
the end to be answered. An intermediate or present end may 
be answered of which it is conscious ; for, during every mo- 
ment of the time, some sense may be receiving present gratifi- 
cation. But the purpose to which this present enjoyment is 
subservient is that great favorite object of nature, the continua- 
tion of the kind ; and this end the animal is accomplishing 
blindly and unintentionally. 

16. But if the great object of its life is to answer this end, 
and if the circumstances in which, and the external means by 
which, this end is to be gained, vary, we may expect that it 
will not be destitute of adaptive power and instinctive intelli- 
gence. Even the plant, we have seen, possesses the former ; 
it is only analogous, then, that to the nobler animal should be 
superadded the latter. Accordingly, the power which the ani- 
mal possesses of unknowingly profiting by experience, is sim- 
ply the slightly diversified apphcation jmd perseverance of in- 
stinct in gaining its own great end. 

17. Farther, if the animal be thus insensible to the ultimate 
end of creation, and even of the part which it is made to act 
for the attainment of that end, we may expect that its signs of 
communication will be of a very humble description. Having 
no thoughts to disclose, speech, the vehicle of thought, will be 
unnecessary. Having nothing to express but the feeling of 
the moment, nothing more can be necessary than inarticulate 
signs ; and nothing more does it possess. " The minister and 
interpreter of nature" is yet to come. 

18. In resumption of the law now under consideration, then, 
we remark that a superior order of life is here found added to 
the vegetable or organic life. By the wonderful addition of 
the senses, the" points of relation between the animal and the 
external world are multiplied above those of the plant a thou- 
sand-fold. By the properties of animal mind which we have 
already considered — sensation, perception, passion, mental as- 
sociation, and constrained volition, comparatively inferior as 
these may be, those relations are further increased. The 
powers of muscular contraction and locomotion, by changing 
the position of the animal in relation to external objects, and 
by enabling it to put itself in proximity or even contact with 
them, augments these relations still more. And the faculty 
of communicating by sounds and signs with the creatures of its 
own kind, renders the number of these relations indefinite. 



While each of these innumerable relations is a designed an * 
calculated part of an elaborate system of animal enjoymeriv^ 
And thus have we illustrated and substantiated the law of 

Ajid, here, it is obvious to remark, how as each part of crea- 
tion comes into existence, and becomes related to the preced- 
ing parts, certain terms progressively enlarge their meaning. 
There was a time, for example, when the word creation, sup- 
posing there were beings to employ it, meant only, in refer- 
ence to the material system, chaos ; and when life meant only 
vegetable existence. The doctrine of Providence, in relation to 
the same material system, originally indicated much less than 
it has come to mean, for there was but little comparatively to 
provide for. And so also of the medial relation, — expressing 
itself at first in effects representative of an originating cause ; 
then adding to these the attainment of ends by the organiza- 
tion and employment of prepared means, representative of 
power guided by wisdom ; and then endowing certain organic 
forms with susceptibilities of enjoyment, thus adding to power 
and wisdom, goodness, and awakening the idea that, as we are 
looking on a progressive scheme, the relation in question will 
yet express itself in other and higher forms. 


Continuity. — Distinct as is the animal kingdom from the 
vegetable, and numerous and striking as are the additional 
characteristics which, in some of its departments, it exhibits, 
the progression will be found to be, in that general sense in 
which alone it can be expected, continuous. 

1. It is continuous if regarded orgaiiically, or in relation to 
the vegetable kingdom. This is evident from the appellation 
given to a large division of organized bodies, zoophytes, or ani- 
mal plants. So imperceptible are the gradations by which the 
two kingdoms are apparently connected at their origins, that 
naturaUsts are often divided as to the kingdom to which many 
well-known bodies belong. And a proposition has been en- 
tertained by more than one scientific society, that certain 
classes of organized beings should be placed in a new king- 
dom, occupying a place between plants and animals. 

Still, it should be distinctly remembered, that this continui- 
ty is only apparent or general. It may be an insensible gra- 
dation to us. To superior powers, the passage from the vege- 


table to the animal would be visible, and could be measured. 
To suppose that, because it is difficult to assign the boundaries 
of the two kingdoms, therefore there are no boundaries, would 
be as irrational as to conclude that, because material atoms dis- 
appear, first from our unaided sight, and then vanish even be- 
yond the reach of microscopic power, there is a point at which 
they graduate into nothingness. A moment's reflection will 
show us that, between that supposed point and the point be- 
yond, there is all the difference between body and space, some- 
thing and nothing — an infinite difference. In the same man- 
ner, however slight the hreah, where the vegetable appears to 
graduate into the animal, such an interruption there is ; and it 
is nothing less than an interruption in kind, a transition from 
identity to essential difference. Accordingly, Cuvier affirms 
the universal application of the graduating principle to be phi- 
losophically untenable ; and disclaims its rigorous application 
to the objects even of one and the same kingdom of nature.i 
And even Lamarck, than whom no one, perhaps, entertains 
more extravagant views of a structural gradation in animals, 
expresses his belief that plants and animals, when most resem- 
bling, are always distinguishable.'^ 

2. Progression is also traceable, in the same general man- 
ner, in what may be called a geological or historical continuity. 
Physiologists regard the animal kingdom as susceptible of a 
fourfold division, in the following ascending order, — Zoophytes 
or Radiata, animals whose parts are distributed around a com- 
mon centre, as the star-fish ; Mollusca, pulpy animals, inclosed 
wholly or pai'tially in a muscular envelope, as the cuttle-fish ; 
Annulosa or Articulata, jointed animals, as the lobster ; 
and Vertehrata, or animals with a spinal column.3 This last 
division is composed of four classes, in the following order, — 
Fish, Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals, or animals which suckle 
their young. Now, as the fossil remains of all these divisions 
and classes are not found together in the lowest strata of the 
earth, are" they found by geologists in any order ; and, if so, 
what is that order ? 

The lowest or earliest system of rocks in which any traces 
of organic structure have been discovered are the Cambrian. 

* Regne Animal, Pref., pp. xx. xxi. 

2 Philosoph. Zoolog., torn. i. pp. 377, 384, and 398, ii^note. See Pro- 
fessor Ividd's B. Treatise, pp. 310, 311. 

^ This is the order of arrangement adopted by Geoffrey and others 
Cuvier's order reversed the position of the second and third divisions. 



Here are found in abundance the remains, not of radiata al^ne, 
but of the second division of the animal kingdom also, preda- 
ceous cephalopods, the most advanced of all molluscs in or- 
ganic structure ; and, of the third division, highly organized 
crustaceans — trilobites, with reticular eyes. In the next sys- 
tem of the ascending series, the Silurian rocks, some of the 
preceding species are found, « but, as a group, the species are 
new and characteristic." Here, first, a vertebrate appears — 
a fish. But while the class to which it belongs is the lowest 
of the four vertebral divisions, the specimen itself belongs to 
the highest order of its class — the placoid. Indeed, all the 
fishes found in this system are of a high organic structure. 
The old rod sandstone above the Silurian rocks, contains nu- 
merous genera of placoids, and of the order next below — 
ganoids. Above the old red sandstone comes the carbonifer- 
ous system: here fossil footprints of a large. reptilian first 
appear. Above this, comes the zechstein or magnesian lime- 
stone formation, charged with Pala30saurs, thecodonts, and mo- 
nitors. But while reptiles compose the class of vertebrata 
next in order above fishes, the fossil bones of these three first- 
found species show them to have belonged to the order of 
lacertilians — the third from the top of Owen's nine orders of 
fossil reptiles. Ascending to the secondary class of rocks, we 
reach first the new red sandstone and saliferous marls. Here 
the gigantic frog or toad-like labyrinthodons occur ; and here, 
for the first time, are the traces of birds. Still, as far as their 
structure can be ascertained, they do not appear to have been 
of the lowest order. Next comes the oolitic or Jurassic sys- 
tem ; and here occurs the didelphys — the first known ex- 
ample of mammalian remains, though not so low in organic 
structure as some living mammals. The green sand and cre- 
taceous systems follow. The latter exhibits great changes of 
organic types ; for while some of the preceding families have 
become degenerate, and others extinct, new families are called 
into being ; and here we have the first traces of animal species 
still living. Leaving the cretaceous, we enter the tertiary sys- 
tem ; and here we find ourselves in a comparatively new world 
of organic remains. « Among the millions of organic forms, 
from corals up to mammals, of the London and Paris basins," 
we find hardly one species belonging to the secondary rocks. 
Here, in the first subdivision of the system — the eocene — 
we find numerous extinct species of vertebral animals — fish- 
es, reptiles, birds, and mammals; but the first and the last 


coexist. And, of the mammals, the carnivora are as old as 
the pachyderms ; nor are monkeys wanting even in this open- 
ing page of the new chapter. And, then, as eocene implies 
that the subdivision exliibits the dawn of species still existing, 
the miocene subdivision above contains more of the species 
now living, though extinct species still predominate ; while in 
the pliocene, or upper division, extinct species decline, and 
species now living predominate.! 

From these remarks, it will be seen that geology affords no 
ground whatever for the hypothesis of a regular succession of 
creatures, beginning with the simplest forms in the older strata, 
and ascending to the more complicated in the later formations. 
The earliest forms of life known to geology are not of the 
lowest grade of organization ; neither are the earliest forais of 
any of the classes wl^h appear subsequently the simplest of 
their kind. The fanSul hypothesis which derives the liigher 
animal from the lower — and of which we shall speak here- 
after — is here contradicted at every step. 

Neither have we any reason to beUeve that, of the species 
found in the older fossiliferous rocks, the individuals belonging 
to each existed m smaller mmihers than they did afterwards. 
Animal forms, too, appear there in as full development, as to 
size, as they do in the analogous forms of existing creatures. 

But the continuity which we do find is truly remarkable. 
As to the uninterrupted maintenance of life ; from the time of 
its first creation, there does not appear to have been any break 
in the vast chain, till we reach the existing order of things : 
" no one geological period, long or short, no one series of 
stratified rocks, is everywhere devoid of traces of life."^ As 
to the increase of species ; " although the older fossiliferous 
strata often contain vast quantities of organic remains, the num- 
ber of species is much smaller than in more recent deposits."^ 
Chiefly, as to tlie succession of the vertebral classes ; notwith- 
standing the subordinate exceptions to regular progress we 
have noticed, the geological order in which we find them is 
that of an ascending series — fishes, reptiles, birds, and mam- 
mals. And, as to the gradual conformity of the successive ani- 

^ See Professor Sedgwick's Address to the Geol. Society, p. 2 ; and an 
admirable article in the Edin. Rev., July, 1 845. 

2 Note by Mr. Phillips, in Professor Powell's Connection of Natural 
and Divine Truth, p. 309. 

^ Sir R. 1. Murcluson's Sihirian System, p. 583. 


7nal creations to the existing types ; " we find successive stages 
marked by varjing forms of animal and vegetable life, and 
these generally differ more and more widely from existing 
species, as we go further downwards into the receptacles of 
the wreck of more ancient creations." ^ 

3. The animal kingdom exhibits physiological continuity. 
Here, again, we employ the term continuity, only in a general 
sense, and as opposed to any essential departure from the ori- 
ginal plans of animal function or structure. From the lowest 
radiate, up to the most complicated and perfect animal struc- 
ture, endowed with digestive, intestinal, circulatory, respira- 
tory, and nervous functions, a gradation may be traced of an 
easy, and, in some parts, almost imperceptible ascent. The 
types which represent the great divisions of the animal king- 
dom, exhibit points of resemblance ; shying that they are all 
parts of one general plan. In the progress of discovery, species 
are often occurring which seem to fill places in the general 
classification wlijch were previously vacant. Thus the nume- 
rous pachydermata found by Cuvier among the earliest fossil 
mammalia, enabled him' to supply many intermediate forms 
which do not occur in the species of that order now living ; 
the cetacea seem to occupy the interval between fishes and 
warm-blooded quadrupeds ; and the ornithorhynchus between 
birds and mammalia. 

It is not to be inferred from this representation, however, 
that the gradation of animal being is absolutely continuous 
and complete. Man, probably, will never succeed in recover- 
ing fossil specimens of all the forms of past creations. , But 
even if he did, and if to these were added any given number 
of new species, the existing plan of animal life would find 
room for them all. They would form a continuation of the 
present system ; not one of them would stand isolated. Thus 
interpreted, we have no objection to the doctrine of " the unity 
of organic composition." It was by a masterly appHcation of 
it, in this sense, that Cuvier was able to supply from the fossil 
genera of former states of the earth, many of the links that 
appeared to be wanting, in order to connect the past and pre- 
sent forms of animal life as parts of one great system. 

4. In our examination of nature, then, we have found, not 
only progression, but continuity — the only kind of continuity 
which we were led to expect — that which discloses the Divine 

' Dr. Buckland's B. Trefvtise, vol. i. p. 113. 


maDifestation in the order of power, Avisdom, and goodness ; 
and Ave have found this graduated connection existing, not 
merely between the several stages of the advancing creation, 
but also, in various respects, between the multiplied parts of 
each stage separately considered. 


Activity. — Another of our laws is, that the animal structure 
and functions are developed hy regidated activity. 

1. "All parts of the animal body," says Liebig, "are pro- 
duced from the fluid circulating in its organism. A destruc- 
tion of the animal body is constantly proceeding. Every 
motion, every manifestation of force, is the result of the trans- 
formation of the structure or of its substance. ... At every 
moment, with every expiration, parts of the body are removed, 
and are emitted into the atmosphere." Every part of the frame 
of a vertebral animal, for instance, circulates more or less 
rapidly. Its food circulates quickly in the fluids, more slowly 
in the flesh, more slowly still in the bones ; but its life requires 
that every part should be in motion. 

2. Besides which, as animals rise in the scale of existence, 
the systems of digestion, circulation, respiration, and sensation, 
bear a proportional increase ; which is only saying that organic 
activity and animal perfection correspond with each other. 

3. Again, an organ being given, its development or degree 
of perfection is regarded as depending on the extent and 
number of the uses to which it is applied. Thus the teeth, the 
special use of which is to triturate the food, to which alone by 
some classes of animals they are applied ; are by the gramini- 
vorous class applied to the further office of prehension ; and in 
the carnivorous they become, in addition, organs of attack. 

4. Hence too, all those defective formations, formerly deemed 
mis-shapen or monstrous productions, or lusus naturce, are now 
found to be occasioned, as in abnormal jDlants, by the irregular 
development — the activity in defect or excess — of some 
parts of the embryo, while the natural process was carried on 
regularly in the rest of the system. 

5. And, in harmony wath the locomotive power, and organi- 
zation of the animal, the external world is adapted to call forth 
its activity. The senses, and the objects which excite them ; 
the appetite, and the food which gratifies it ; the passions, and 
the means of appeasing them, mutually operate to excite the 


activity of the animal. And on the constant exercise of its 
functions, in conformity with their nature, its well-beirig and 
enjoyment depend. 

6. Every stage and part then of the progressive and all-con- 
nected scheme of creation is found to manifest all that it is 
calculated to exhibit of the Divine nature, by developing or 
working out its own. Every being, every organ, element, and 
particle, is in constant activity. Much of this activity, indeed, 
is so subtle and rapid, as to defy our means of measurement 
and calculation ; yet has every atom an appointed place, and 
obeys a definite law. And much of this activity may appear 
to be objectless ; yet is everything acting its appropriate part, 
and answering a momentous end ; for, here, everything is ever 
tending to realize the great end. 


Development. — According to another law, the same proper- 
ties and characteristics which existed in the preceding stage are 
found to he, not only brought on to the present, hut to he in a more 
advanced condition ; in the sense of heing expressed in higher 
forms, or applied to higher purposes. 

1. We saw that, while the plant, in obedience 'to the law of 
gravity, tends downwards, it rises upwards too. But the ani- 
mal is able to resist this law so far as to maintain a variety of 
motions and attitudes at variance with its tendency ; or even 
to rise, like the eagle, many thousand feet into the air, in oppo- 
sition to its own natural weight. Many plants will bear a very 
limited variety of temperature ; but many animals preserve an 
elevated and steady temperature, whether exposed to severe 
cold or to excessive heat ; some will even bear exposure to 
the intensest cold of the Polar regions, without having their 
own temperature reduced even by a single degree. The plant 
receives its nourishment by a slow and nearly constant supply, 
and by being rooted in one spot : the animal is furnished with 
a receptacle into which it can receive at once a large supply 
of food ; by which it is rendered independent of local situation ; 
and enjoys the privilege of moving from place to place, and 
of selecting its food. The animal has all its organs of nutrition 
within itself; for, while the plant absorbs from the soil without, 
it is not until the food is deposited in the stomach of the ani- 
mal, that the lacteals, or absorbing vessels, answering in their 
office to the roots of vegetables, imbibe nourishment. The 


sexual distinction of dioecious plants is, at most, little more than 
an obscure intimation of the same distinction developed in the 
animal kingdom ; where it is made the, basis of the strongest 
sympathies, relations, and affections. The parent plant is con- 
structed to provide the seed with that nutriment on which, 
when it falls to the earth, it may live dunng its germination, 
before the roots have sufficiently enlarged to absorb the mois- 
ture from the surrounding soil ; but from the moment in which 
it is shed, its separation from the plant is complete. While, 
in the animal kingdom, the moment of birth is, in the case of 
some tribes, the commencement of a series of parental cares ; 
some species continuing to protect their young ; others, both 
male and female, uniting tc protect and to feed them ; while the 
mammal protects and feeds them with food drawn frmn its own 
life, and even continues to associate with them and to be mu- 
tually dependent, to the close of life. 

The excitahility of the plant is, as we have seen, succeed- 
ed in the animal by sensibility and contractility — that passive 
and that active element of animal life by which it is distin- 
guished, not only from mechanieal, chemical, and all other 
merely physical forces, but even from organic vital powers. 
For, in addition to the nerves of sensibility for conveying sen- 
sations to the sensorium, there are also nerves of motion for 
conveying the mandates of volition to the muscles. 

2. These illustrations may remind the reader of the follow- 
ing admired passage in Coleridge's " Aids to Reflection : " i 
" Every rank of creatures, as it ascends in the scale of creation, 
leaves death behind it or under it. The Metal at its height 
of being seems a mute prophecy of the coming vegetation," into 
a mimic semblance of which it crystallizes. The Blossom and 
Flower, the acme of vegetable life, divides into correspondent 
organs with reciprocal functions, and by instinctive motions 
and approximations seems impatient of that fixture by which 
it is diflerenced in kind from the flower-shaped Psyche, that 
flutters with free wing above it. And wonderfully in the insect 
realm doth the irritability, the proper seat of instinct, wliile yet 
the nascent sensibility is subordinated thereto — most wonder- 
fully, I say, doth the muscular life in the insect, and the mus- 
culo-arterial in the bird, imitate, and typically rehearse the 
adaptive understanding, yea, and the moral affections and char 
ities of man. Let us carry ourselves back, in spirit, to the 

Pp. Ill, 112.1st ed. 


mysterious week, the teeming work-days of the Creator : as 
they rose in vision before the eye of the inspired historian of 
* the generations of the heaven and the earth, in the days that 
the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.' And who 
that hath watched their ways with an understanding heart, 
could contemplate the filial and loyal bee ; the home-building, 
wedded, and divorceless swallow ; and above all, the manifold- 
ly intelligent i ant tribes, with their commonwealths and con- 
federacies, their warriors and miners, the husband-folk that fold 
in their tiny flocks on the honeyed leaf, and the virgin sisters 
with the holy instincts of maternal love, detached, and in self- 
less purity, and not say to himself. Behold the shadow of ap- 
proaching humanity, the sun rising from behind, in the kindling 
morn of creation ! Thus all lower natures find their highest 
good in semblances and seekings of that which is higher and 
better." This is the poetic but guarded language of a mind 
which more than "half creates that which it sees." No one could 
be more fully aware than its author that, in thus subjectiving na- 
ture, and allowing his active but trained imagination to speak, 
he was only illustrating a moral truth ; or be less in danger of 
mistaking rhetoric for science. 

The gradation of a plant ijito an animal, or of an inferior 
animal into one of a higher class, by any process of natural 
and necessary development, is a hypothesis requiring far other 
data. In preceding chapters it has been shown that develop- 
ment, in such a sense, is entirely unknown to fossil geology ; 
and in the fourteenth and fifteenth chapters of this part it is 
made apparent that the Jiypothesis is at variance with the facts, 
both of geology and of animal physiology. 

3. The facts which we have adduced, however, are sufficient 
to illustrate the law of development in the limited, but impor- 
tant sense in which alone we hold it to be true. We have 
seen that pre-existing laws are not merely brought on into 
each succeeding department of creation, but are there express- 
ed in higher forms, or promoted to higher offices. The scheme 
of the Divine Creator advances and ascends. His last and 
greatest display virtually includes, and provisionally completes, 
the exhibition of all that had preceded it. His wisdom is the 
perfection of His power ; His goodness, the provisional com- 
plement of both. 

' See Huber on Bees and on Ants. 



Relations. — Every part is mutually and medially related, to 
the whole. 

1. Numerous and complicated relations exist between the 
earth and every animal which inhabits it. The magnitude of 
the eartli determines the strength of its bones, and the poAver 
of its muscles. The depth of the atmosphere determines tlie 
condition of its fluids, and the resistance of its blood-vessels. 
The common act of breathing, the transpiration from the sur- 
face, must bear relation to the weight, moisture, and tempera- 
ture of the medium which surrounds it. The external form 
of every part of its body, and every organ of sense, relates to 
the properties of the objects around it. AU its parts are created 
in accordance with the condition of the globe, and are system- 
atic portions of a great whole. 

2. From this it may be expected, not only that an adapta- 
tion will be found between the animal and the particular ele- 
ment of air, earth, or water, which it inhabits, but between it 
and the different states of the earth at different geological pe- 
riods. Accordingly, the fossil remains of animals inform us, not 
only that certain races of aninaals, now extinct, existed at cer- 
tain remote periods ; they even reveal the prevailing condition 
of the earth during those periods, and the nature of the changes 
which it successively passed through. 

3. May we not expect, then, if the relation be so close, that 
similar adaptations will be found existing .between the animal 
and the region which it inhabits ? They exist in abundance. 
It is this fact which explains to us, for example, the periodical 
changes in the plumage of birds, and the furs of quadrupeds, 
the migrations of animals, and the theory of their geographical 

4. Nice adjustments are observable in order to pi'eserve the 
balance between the different races of animals existing at any 
time on the earth. The produce of so minute a thing as a fly, 
if unchecked, would soon darken the air and render whole 
regions desolate. Had there been an error as to the grouping 
of the different races of any one period, there might have been 
a destruction of the whole. But, so nicely have aU the varie- 
ties been balanced, that they*have mutually conduced to the 
existence of the whole. Even the conflicting instincts of ani- 
mals — as, of one to pursue and another to flee — are related 
parts of this whole. 


5. A single living animal is the result of a system of rela- 
tions. It is this fact which enables the comparative anatomi&t 
to infer from a single fossil bone, the division, class, order, and 
even species and habits of the being to which it belonged. Ex 
ungue leonem. To say that there is a perfect relation established 
between the "bones and the muscles, or that everything remarka- 
ble in the outward configuration of an animal is always attended 
with some corresponding change in the anatomy, would give 
but an imperfect view of its organic relations. " With each 
new (animal) instrument, visible externally, there are a thou- 
sand internal relations established ; the introduction of a new 
mechanical contrivance in the bones or joints, infers an alter- 
ation in every part of the skeleton ; a corresponding arrange- 
ment of all the muscles ; that the nervous filaments, laid in- 
termediate between the instrument and the centre of life and 
motion, have an appropriate texture and distribution ; and, 
finally .... that new sources of activity must be created, in 
relation to the new organ, otherwise the part will hang a use- 
less appendage." ^ So perfect is this system of relations, that 
whatever part or function of the animal engages our attention, 
we feel inclined to conclude tliat the whole has been adjusted 
for that particular point. Though a thousand j^arts consent 
and conform to every single act, the nervous system, besides 
being the medium of sympathy among the organs, secures a 
consentaneousness of action among the parts, and establishes 
instrumentally a unity of consciousness in the individual being. 

6. But more remarkable than all, perhaps, and the type of 
mysteries beyond itself, is that sexual relation, by which one 
entire being becomes the complement of another, and sustains 
a medial relation to all the generations of the same kind, from 
the first of the race to the last that shall exist. 

7. Thus we have seen that the whole universe, organic and 
inorganic, presents a system of instrumental relations. The 
last effect of any particular kind, which the pre-adamite crea- 
tion exhibited, was variously connected with the first of the 
entire series.- The bare coming into existence of that first 
effect proclaimed a Cause ; and the bare continuance of that 
effect, for a single moment, proclaimed a distant end ; why else 
did it continue in existence even for that moment? Its contin- 
uance not only foretold an end, but announced that by means 
of all the intermediate effects which should instrumentally flow 

• Sh C. Bell's B. Treatise, p. 180. 


from it, it would be representatively present in that end, how- 
ever distant — thus connecting the origin Vv^ith the end of all 

In a similar manner, each of the several kinds of effects in 
nature is found to be related to all the rest. The object of the 
Creator is ultimately one ; and they all stand in the relation 
of means to that one end. Vast as is the space they may have 
occupied from the beginning, and ever widening as it may have 
been through each successive moment since, the Divine plan 
circumscribes the whole. Nothing wanders at large and un- 
related in that immeasurable circumference. And nothing, 
once related, can ever break away, and reach a point beyond. 
Every atom is bound to the system as effectually as if it form- 
ed the centre of the whole. And the last and most finished 
specimen of sentient life that has come from the Creating hand, 
is variously related to that apparently insignificant atom. On 
no one point can we lay our finger and positively afhrm, " Here 
ends one class of effects and begins another : " — this is the 
province of the Creator alone.* The very partitions of nature 
are denoted by disjunctive conjunctions. Range where we 
will, we never find that we have passed into another sphere — 
a strange department of creation. There is, says Paley, " a 
certain character, or style, (if I may use the expression,) in 
the operations of Divine Wisdom; something which every- 
where announces, amidst an infinite variety of detail, an inim- 
itable unity and harmony of design." How obvious the infer- 
ence, then, that no one science can be properly arranged, which 
does not provide for its relation to every other science. Phi- 
losophy, says Adam Smith, is the science of the connecting 
principles of nature. 


Order. — We may expect that laws will come into operation 
on every subject of them, according to their order i?i the system 
of creatioji. Were our knowledge of the physiology of the 
subject sufficiently accurate and minute, we doubt not that this 
principle would be found to hold good in every respect in which 
it could be legitimately applied ; whether tested from the first 
moment of embryonic life to the birth of the animal, or from 
the first moment of independent existence at birth to complete 
maturity. At present, however, physiologists differ respecting 
many of the phenomena concerned, so that we could not rely 


on them either for argument or illustration. Thus, the view, 
that animals occupying the highest place in the scheme of 
organization present, at the commencement of their embryonic 
existence, a marked resemblance to that which is the permanent 
condition of the lowest animals of the same division ; and that 
in the course of their progress to their own mature and dis- 
tinctive form, they assume in succession the characters of each 
class of the division to which they belong, corresponding to their 
consecutive order in the ascending scale, would seem to prom- 
ise a strong corroboration of our principle. Nor would the 
serviceableness of this view be much diminished, even if ac- 
companied by the important admission, that at no period of 
embryonic development does an animal of a higher class re- 
semble in all its parts an animal of a lower class ; for, at the 
same moment that one of its organs resembles the correspond- 
ing organ in a lower animal, another will be found to resem- 
ble a corresponding organ in a much higher animal. But we 
cannot accept a view which rests, as we shall presently show 
this does, on very insufficient and doubtful data. 

It is sufficient to find, however, that, generally, and as far 
as physiologists are agreed, our principle proves to be in har- 
mony with fact. Does it imply, for example, that the devel- 
opment of the organic life would precede that of the animal 
life ? The pulsations of the heart, the centre of the organic 
life, give the first indications of vitality in the embryo, while 
the sensorial functions are the last which attain perfection. 
Would it lead us to expect that the nutritive organs would be 
found to precede the reproductive? " The apparatus first per- 
fected is that which is immediately necessary for the exercise 
of the vital functions, and which is therefore required for the 
completion of all the other structures."^ Even the prior ap- 
pearance of the spinal cord,^ is no impeachment of our princi- 
ple ; for as it presents itself before the embryo has any life, or 
organs of life of its own, it can only be regarded as an extension 
of the parental life ;3 and to that life our principle does apply. 

' Roget's B. Treatise, vol. ii. p. 540. 

2 According to Miiller, the first trace of the nervous system is not 
merely that of the spinal cord or of the ganglionic string, but is the 
.potential whole of that system, of the brain and all its appendages. — 
Fhysiology^ vol. i. p. 20. 

^ Up to this point, the embryo cannot be spoken of as a separate ex- 
istence. Even those organs which ultimately become single are said to 
be formed in halves ; or to present, at first, a double appearance. They 


And would it further lead us to expect that the nutritive 
process would correspond with the order of the same process 
in plants ? From the mechanical operations to which the food 
is, in the first place, subjected, and the chemical changes which 
it next undergoes in the stomach, through all the intermediate 
stages, to that of absorption, the order of the process is the 
same in each economy. 


Influence. — It may be expected that everything will hing 
in it, and with it, in its own capability of subserving the end, a 
,reason why all other things shoidd be influe^iced by it ; and for 
'the degree in which it, in its turn, should be influenced by every- 
thing else. 

l..In our preceding illustration of this law, we saw the 
living plant decomposing the carbonic acid of the atmosphere, 
appropriating the carbon to the formation of its own juices, 
and returning the disengaged oxygen into the atmosphere; 
itself, meanwhile, influenced by the amount of the element 
present ^nd subject to decomposition. We have now to re- 
mark that by this very process, the plant was not only render- 
ing the atmospheric air more fitted than it was before for the 
support of animal Ufe, and thus preparing for the support of a 
higher order of life wliile absorbing its own means of nourish- 
ment, but that it was preparing to become the food of that 
superior order of life. 

2. Looking up the scale of creation, the highest order of 
being at any time existing is to ' be regarded as the relative 
end of all the orders below it.i This is its prerogative by 
right of its comparative importance, or of that greater power 
which it possesses of answering the great end of creation. But 
as all inferior beings possess a measure of the same power, 
and therefore, of the same right, their subordination to the 
higher is never absolute. It is regulated by the degree in 

are individual ; they do not yet form an individual. It is not until the 
halves approach, infold, and unite, that an intimation is given of a dis- 
tinct system. At first, too, the formation is said to proceed from without 
inwards, showing the external dependence of the process ; it is not until 
the order is reversed that an intimation is given of the approaching self- 
dependence of the animal. 

' Liebig shows the closeness of the connection between vegetable and 
animal life, from the fact that " the first substance capable of affording 
nutriment to animals is the last product of the creative energy of vegeta- 


which thej can conduce to the well-being of that higher order 
of existence. This is at once the extent and the hmit of their 
subordination. Hence, one of the nobler species no sooner 
dies, than he loses his status in creation. The lowest forms 
of animal life become his superiors, and prey on him. And 
even the physical laws regaui their ascendency over him. So 
that in this sense, " a Kving dog is better than a dead Hon." 

3. The law now under consideration is recognised in all our 
natural classifications of objects. For it provides not only for 
the calculation of all the points of resemblance, for the subor- 
dination of characters, and for the arrangement of animals in 
natural groups, but also for the arrangement of these groups 
in an ascending series according to the degree of value or 
intensity m the leading phenomena of the animal economy. 
Indeed, the principle is recognised in that system of Provi- 
dence which, while it « feeds the young Hons," notes " the fall- 
en sparrow," and " taketh care for oxen," is represented as 
apportioning its regard according as its objects are of lesser or 
of " greater value ;" according, that is, to the measure of the 
capacity which an object has to receive and exhibit the proofs 
of the Divine care, and so to answer the end of creation. 


Subordination. — Every law subordinate in ranh, though it 
may have been prior in its origin, may be expected to be subject 
to each higher law of the manifestation. 

1. Accordingly, we here find the productions of Wisdom 
subordinate to the exercise of goodness ; the vegetable sustain- 
ing the animal creation. 

2. But this subordination is continuous ; extending into the 
animal kingdom itself. Each class of animated being is, gen- 
erally speaking, food for those immediately above it in the 
scale of existence. 

3. The same principle of subordination obtains among ani- 
mals of the same species. For instance, if, as we have already 
seen, the perpetuation of the species be a later and a higher 
law than the preservation and enjoyment of the individual, we 
may anticipate that the earlier but inferior law will submit to 
it. Accordingly, niunerous tribes, especially of insects, ap- 
pear to live only to propagate their kind. And, among the 
mammalia, the parental instincts, while they last, subordinate 
every other. The " bear bereaved of her whelps" is reckless 
of her own life. 


4. Nor is the law of subordination less traceable in the 
organization and functions of the individual animal. Indeed, 
here it asserts itself in a new and remarkable manner. For, 
as we have seen, while the primary object of vegetable germs 
appears to be the preparation of the functions of nutrition, the 
primitive trace of the animal structure in its embryonic state, 
is that of a part to which all the functions of vitahty are to 
be placed in subordination ; namely, the rudiments of the cen- 
tral organ of nervous power. The same early intimation of 
the ultimate supremacy of the organ of sight is given by tlie 
appearance of a rudimental eye, before any of the other or- 
gans of sense. — I say, the supremacy of the eye ; for, if tlie 
value of the senses is to be estimated according to the degree 
in which they enlarge the circle of our objective perceptions, 
the order in which they would rank would, probably, be this 
— touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight. 

5. But though intimation is thus early given of the nervous 
system, and of the higher senses, the order in which they 
come into active use is in strict accordance with our preceding 
law. For, the parts fii'st perfected are those which are imme- 
diately necessary for the exercise of the vital functions. The 
heart, the punctum saliens of organic hfe, begins its pulsations 
while yet it resembles a mere tube ; the sensorial system is 
perfected last. And, to the last and highest power of the 
animal — the power of volition — all the earlier functions of 
vitality are placed in subordination. To this, its organs of 
locomotion are subservient. And, when they are wearied, for 
this it reposes and sleeps, while the heart keeps vigil, and all 
the organic system continues at work ; that, when it awakes, it 
may be able again to obey its volitions, gratify its desires, and 
resume its enjoyments. 


Uniformity. — This stage of creation is found to be pervad- 
ed by the operation, and impressed with the regularity, of 
general laws. All these are doubtless contained in the Divine 
mind ; for they are only the rules of that agency by which all 
animated nature is sustained in activity. 

1. The uniformity of such activity, or the presence of such 

laws, is implied in most of the views already advanced. How 

else, for example, could we speak of the animal scheme ? What 

would prevent one class of beings from assuming the form of 



another, till the animal kingdom presented a scene of inex- 
plicable confusion, if each of them were not kept within the 
limits- assigned to it ? Especially is this reign of law discern- 
ible in the arrangements of animal sensation. The function 
of each nerve of sense is determinate, and can be performed 
by no other part of the system. The optic nerve alone can 
give rise to the sensation of light ; " no part of the nervous 
system but the auditory nerve can convey that of sound ; and 
so of the rest." While it is evident that the relations subsisting 
between the nervous system and the external agents capable 
of affecting it, must be maintained by laws equally determinate. 
2. Fossil geology shows that such relations have existed 
from the first appearance of animal life to the present day ; 
binding the whole together as the successive parts of one great 
system. Paley has well remarked, respecting the variations 
observable in living species of plants and animals, in different 
regions and under, various climates, that " we never get amongst 
such original or totally different modes of existence, as to 
indicate that we are come into the province of a different 
Creator, or under the direction of a different Will.''^ The 
philosophy of Dugald Stewart carries him a step further, when 
he acutely remarks, that the uniformity of animal instinct 
" presupposes a. corresponding regularity in the physical laws 
of the universe, insomuch that, if the established order of the 
material world were to be essentially disturbed, (the instincts 
of the brutes remaining the same,) all their various tribes 
would inevitably perish."^ Geology ■ immeasurably enlarges 
the range of this truth. " Any naturalist," sagaciously ob- 
serves Mr. Lyell, "will be convinced, on slight reflection, of 
the justice of this remark. He will also admit that the same 
species have always retained the same instincts, and therefore 
that all the strata wherein any of their remains occur, must 
have been formed when the phenomena of inanimate matter 
were the same as they are in the actual condition of the earth. 
The same conclusion must also be extended to the extinct 
animals with which the remains of these living species are 
associated ; and by these means we are enabled to establish 
the permanence of the existing physical laws throughout the 
whole period when the tertiary deposits were formed.^ 

^ Nat. Theol, p. 450. Chap, on the Unity of the Deity. 
^ Phil, of the Human Mind, vol. ii, p. 230. 
^ Geology, p. IGl. 1st Ed. 


3. But while the uniformity contended for is essential, in 
order even that any reasoning respecting the past may be pos- 
sible, it should be borne in mind that the same source which 
supplies the means of proving it, furnishes also abundant evi- 
dence of its interruption. Because no other physical laws 
than those which are now known to us have ever existed, it 
by no means follows that these have, in no sense, known inter- 
ruption. Every destructive earthquake, though itself the re- 
sult of general laws, is, in so far as it is destructive, a breach 
of that stability of nature for which the animal is made, and 
shows that such uniformity is not inviolable. While the suc- 
cessive appearance ©f races of animals, entirely unknown to 
pre-existing nature, shows that it is an uniformity as compati- 
ble with the addition of new creations as with the destruction 
of old ones. 


Obligation. — Animal hfe exists under an obligation to pro- 
mote the end of creation, commensurate with its means and rela- 
tions. Here, again, obligation can be affirmed of the animal 
kingdom only in the same figurative sense in which all the 
kingdoms of nature are said to be governed by laws. The 
mind of the Lawgiver is the only conceivable seat of these 
laws ; for they only and simply express His modes of opera- 
tion. If, moreover, these created existences have been origi- 
nated for a purpose, the mind of the Creator is the only con- 
ceivable seat of that purpose ; for animal natures are only, at 
most, instinctive and impulsive. The mere proximate ends, 
indeed, for which they blindly live — their own conservation 
and the propagation of their kind — may be regarded by the 
imagination as a foreshadowing of a being capable of conscious- 
ly aiming at a higher end. But of such an end the animal 
itself knows nothing. AVhatever obligation may exist, there- 
fore, to employ the means necessary for the attainment of th(; 
end, and to create and sustain the animal kingdom as a part 
of those means, can be binding only on Him with whom the 
purpose of their creation has originated. 

The idea of this law is thus recognised and poetically ex- 
pressed by Hooker : " The world's first creation, and the pres- 
ervation since of things created, what is it but only so -far forth 
a manifestation by execution, what the eternal law of God is 
concerning things natural ? And as it cometh to pass in a 


kingdom rightly ordered, after a law is once published, it pres- 
ently takes effect far and wide, all states framing themselves 
thereunto ; even so let us think it fareth in the natural course 
of the world: since the time that God did first jDroclaim the 
edicts of His law upon it, heaven and earth have hearkened 
unto His voice, and their labor hath been to do His will. He 
' made a law for the rain.' (Job xxvii. 26.) He gave His 'de- 
cree unto the sea that the waters should not pass his conmiand- 
ment.' (Jer. v. 22.) Now, if Nature should intermit her course, 
and leave altogether, though it were but for a while, the ob- 
servation of her own laws ; if those principal and" mother-ele- 
ments of the world whereof all things in this lower world are 
made, should lose the qualities which now they have ; if the 
frame of that heavenly arch erected over our heads should 
loosen and dissolve itself; if celestial spheres should forget 
their wonted motions, and by irregular volubility turn them- 
selves any way as it might happen ; if the prince of the lights 
of heaven, which now, as a giant, doth run his unwearied 
course, should as it were, through a 'languishing faintness, be- 
gin to stand and to rest himself; if the moon should wander 
from her beaten way, the times and seasons of the year blend 
themselves by disordered and confused mixture, the winds 
breathe out their last gasp, the clouds yield no rain, the earth 
be defeated of heavenly influence, the fruits of the earth pine 
away as children at the withered breasts of their mother, no 
longer able to yield them relief; — what would become of man 
himself? whom these things now do all serve ? See we not 
plainly that obedience of creatures unto the law of nature is 
the stay of the whole world ! " i 


Well-being. — Li accordance with another of our principles 
— tliat everything loill be entitled to cm amount of good, or enjoy 
a degree of well-being proportionate to the discharge of its obli- 
gations, or to the measure of its conformity to the laws of its 
being ; we find that the well-being of the animal depends on 
its conformity to the laws of its own constitution. 

1. The laws of its own being, physical, organic, and mental, 
are in conformity with each other, and with the laws of the 
external world ; and, provided nothing occurs to disturb that 

* Works of Hooker, by Keble, vol. i. p. 257, 


harmony, its well-being is secure. If the germ form whicli it 
springs be perfect, and if its embryonic development be unim- 
peded, it will come into existence as a complete organization, 
sound in its whole constitution ; but, if either of these condi- 
tions be wanting, it will be feeble and sickly, or else a mal- 
formation. If, from the first moment of its separate existence, 
it is supplied properly, as to quantity and quality, with food, 
air, light, and every physical element requisite for its support, 
the result will be a healthy development of its organs^ and 
powers, a pleasing consciousness of existence, and an aptitude 
for the performance of its natural functions ; but the result of 
non-compliance with these conditions, will be a stunted growth, 
imperfection, or an early death. If it duly exercises its or- 
gans according to the laws of its constitution, enjoyment will 
be experienced in the very act of exercise, and appropriate 
gratifications be acquired ; but the absence of such activity 
will result in the sluggishness and consequent derangement of 
the functions, together with the want of the appropriate grati- 
fications, and with a sense of uneasiness or of positive pain. 
" The whole life of animals," says Liebig, " consists of a con- 
flict between chemical forces and the vital powers. In the 
normal state of the body of an adult, both stand in equilibrium. 
Every mechanical or chemical agency which disturbs the res- 
toration of this equilibrium is a cause of disease. Disease oc- 
curs when the resistance offered by the vital force is weaker 
than the acting cause of disturbance. Death is that condition 
in which chemical or mechanical powers gain the ascendency, 
and all resistance on the part of the vital force ceases." 

2. But this animal well-being does not depend, in a mere 
general and indefinite manner, on conformity with the laws of 
its constitution, but is exactly regulated in its kind and degree 
by the nature and relative importance of the laws obeyed. 
Some laws were intended to. be subservient to others. If they 
are so subordinated, they both yield their own peculiar kind 
and degree of pleasure, and instrumentally enable the higher 
laws to minister their superior enjoyment. If the law of ap- 
petite be limited to its appropriate gratification, the pleasure 
of eating is enjoyed ; and, besides this, the animal is prepared 
for all the higher pleasures arising from muscular activity and 
the exercise of the senses. But if they are not so subordinat- 
ed, though the higher enjoyment is lost, they do not, therefore, 
necessarily and at once, cease to be productive of their own 
peculiar kind of pleasure. By feeding inordinately, the ani- 


mal may render itself incapable of higher gratifications, of 
even avoiding the attacks to Avhich it is exposed ; and may 
thus hasten the end of its life, and therefore, of this solitary 
pleasure of eating; still, while its appetite continues, it con- 
tinues to enjoy the animal gratification which arises from 

3. Here, again, we are reminded of the ideal perfection to 
which we have referred in the corresponding sections of the 
preceding parts. The chances, so to speak, that no two ani- 
mals of the same species have ever stood in precisely the same 
relations to the standard of absolute animal perfection, are here 
multiplied by all the additional laws, and all their possible 
combinations, which characterise the animal as compared with 
the vegetable economy. For the same reason, the chances are 
equally increased that no one animal has ever reached that 
standard. In the case of even that one which may have most 
nearly approached it, if certain incidents had been added to the 
myriads which had actually combined in its liistory, it would 
have approached still nearer to perfection. Its resemblance 
to the ideal standard is in exact proportion to its conformity to 
the laws of its being. 

4. And thus we have found that everything in the vegeta- 
ble and animal world has an end of its own ; and that all such 
proximate ends are so placed in a line with the ultimate end, 
that everything answers it most effectually, by aiming at its 
own immediate end. The haj^piness of the creature and the 
glory of the Creator are thus seen to harmonize and become 


Analogy. — The relation of every part of the animal kingdom 
to every other part, as well as to all that had been created pre- 
viously, suggests another of our laws, that the whole is in anal- 
ogy., or is arranged on a plan. 

1. Accordingly, it is folmd that, notwithstanding the almost 
interminable variety of animal forms with which the earth, the 
air, and the waters, teem, the whole are reducible to a very 
small number of types, or principal schemes of organization. 
Cuvier, as we have seen, limited these models to four — the 
radiata, the mollusca, the articulata, and the vertebrata. Take 
any of these divisions — say the vertebral — and it would al- 
most seem as if, in its construction, a definite type or standard 


had been kept in view ; and to -wliicli, amidst endless modifi- 
cations, all the species had been conformed. For, in many 
instances, where the greatest diversity might have been ex- 
pected, this original type is departed from only jnst so much 
as is necessary for the purpose of adapting it to the destiny of 
the particular species ; while, in other instances, where the 
greatest dissimilarity of size, and form, and habit, exists, the 
closest analogy to the type is still traceable. Thus, the longest 
necked mammalian at present known, and the shortest necked, 
have the same number of bones in the neck — the giraffe the 
same as the hog or the mole. And the bones which we recog- 
nise in the paddle of the turtle, are, by slight changes and gra- 
dations, adjusted so as to form the fin of the whale, the wing 
of the l)ird, and the paw, the foot, and the hoof of the land 

2. Instances of particular change are always accompanied 
by the corresponding readjustment of the entire structure. No 
limb, organ, or structure, is isolated. Every part conforms to 
every other part. " We are inclined to say, whatever part oc- 
cupies our attention for the time, that to this particular object 
the system has been framed." Hence that the physiolo- 
gist acquainted with comparative anatomy can infer from the 
fossil fragments of a skeleton — a mutilated bone — the entire 
structure and the habits of tlie animal to which it belonged.i 
And were all the bones of any geological period to be laid at 
his feet, he would be able to build up all their frames, " bone 
coming to his bone ;" to reduce each species to its class, and 
each individual to its place, as harmonious parts of an all-re- 
lated system. 

3. This unity of design is further illustrated by the fact that 
the same parts which are fully developed in some classes, exist 
in others only in what is termed "a rudimental" state. Thus, 
a row of small teeth are said to exist in the lower jaw of the 
young of the whale, before its birth ; but, as they do not rise 
above the gums, they are useless for mastication, and gradual- 
ly disappear. "Rudimental" organs of this kind may have 
special applications, of which we know nothing. In the in- 
stance named, for example, both the coming and going of the 
teeth may minister to the pleasure of the unborn animal ; in 
which case, there would be the same reason for the process, as 
we are accustomed to assign for the existence of the animal at 

* Cuvier's Discourse, prefixed to his Ossemens Fossiles, p. 47. 


all. Our knowledge must not be made to limit the creative 
designs. But even if such rudimental parts answer no other 
end, they indicate the relation of the species ; they point to a 
type, and are suggestive of the general plan. And as man 
could know little or nothing of the Divine Wisdom, apart from 
the classification of created objects, here are some of the innu- 
merable helps to the necessary arrangement. 

4. This comprehensive plan of animal life, viewed co-exist- 
ently, is still further illustrated by the recovery of the fossil 
remains of animals which have existed in successive states of 
the globe. They fill up the apparent blanks in the plan. Novel 
as many of these ancient forms are, they are never at variance 
with the order of the general system. Not one of them stands 
apart in isolation. The scheme is all-including ; so that the 
strangest organization belongs to it, and finds an appropriate 
place in it. 

5. Now it was only to have been expected that such indica- 
tions of a great plan of animal existence would give rise to a 
number of hypotheses respecting both the mode of its produc- 
tion, and the principle of the classification of its members. Ac- 
cordingly, by dint of* overlooking some phenomena, of seeing 
others which existed only in the imagination, of occasionally 
exalting particular instances into general principles, and of 
torturing doubtful circumstances till they seemed to utter the 
language desired, various theories have been formed, and have 
flourished in succession ; each being considered, for the time, 
a most remarkable discovery of science. 

6. As to the mode of production, Lamarck took occasion, 
from the obvious traces of a scheme of animal life, to advocate, 
in his Philosophie Zool(Tgique, the extravagant hypothesis of the 
transmutation of species ; according to which, there was no dis- 
tinction of species originally ; but each class has in the course 
of ages been derived from some other and different class, less 
perfect than itself, by a spontaneous effort at improvement. 
Now the only reply which is really due to this fancy, falsely 
called philosophy, is the origination of some counter fancy, 
equally baseless, but equally aspiring to the honors of philoso- 
phy. • If, however, the reply must needs partake of a grave 
character, it is obvious to remark, first, that while fossil geology 
exhibits abundant remains of distinct species, it presents no 
remains of any species in a state of transition into other species. 
Striking as the resemblance may be between any two species, 
still, what niore can be said than that the difference is specific ? 


Short as the step may appear to be from the one to the other, 
it is an impassable chasm. And hence the same species is 
found, in many instances, to retain its essential characteristics 
through a long succession of strata, while, in some one of these 
very strata, new species come into view, not by a gradual 
change, but suddenly and completely ; leaving it to be infer- 
red that all other species have had the same independent ori- 

On this subject, let us listen to the weighty testimony of 
Agassiz in his Report on the Fossil Fishes of the Devonian 
System, or Old Red Sandstone. " One of the first observations 
to be made on the ichthyological fauna of the old red sandstone 
is, that it is wholly peculiar to this formation ; its numerous 
species differ alike from those of the Silurian system, and from 
those of the carboniferous strata ; the greater portion of the 
genera, even of the Devonian system, are restricted to the dura- 
tion of this geological system. ... It is a truth which I con- 
sider now as proved, that the ' ensemUe ' of organized beings 
was renewed not only in the interval of each of the great geo- 
logical divisions which we have agreed to term formations ; 
but also at the time of the deposition of each particular member 
of all the formations. For example, I think I can prove that 
in the oolitic formation, at least, within the limits of the Swiss 
Jura ; the organic contents of the lias, those of the oolitic group 
properly so called, those of the Oxfordian group, and those of 
the Portlandian group, as they occur in Switzerland, are as dif- 
ferent from each other as the fossils of the lias from those of 
the Keuper, or those of the Portlandian beds from those of the 
Neocomian formation. I also beheve very little in the genetic 
descent of living species, from those of the various tertiary lay- 
ers which have been regarded as identical, but which, in my 
opinion, are specifically distinct. I cannot admit the idea of 
the transformation of species from one formation to another. 
In advancing these general notions, I do not wish to offer them 
as inductions drawn from the study of any particular class of 
animals, (of fishes for instance,) and applied to other classes ; 
but as the results of direct observation of very considerable 
collections of fossils of different formations, and belonging to 
different classes of animals, in the investigation of which I 
have been specially engaged for many years, in order to assure 
myself whether the conclusions which I had drawn from the 
tribe of fishes were applicable to this class only, or T^heth^ 


the same relation existed in the other remains of the animal 

7. The advocate for the progressive transmutation of a 
species may be fairly pressed with the inquiry, why the essen- 
tial parts which characterize every individual member of that 
species, have not exhibited any corresponding development. 
The eye of the extinct Trilobite, for instance, one of the most 
ancient forms of animal hfe, but which has not been found in 
any strata more recent than the carboniferous series, exhibits 
an optical instrument as perfect as that of any crustacean now 
existing. Now surely if the condition of any crustaceous ani- 
mal of the present day is the result of a long series of imj^rov- 
ing transmutations from an inferior condition of preceding 
crustaceans, we may analogically look for a corresponding im- 
provement in all its parts ; and, of all its parts, especially in its 
characteristic parts ; and, of these, especially in so complex an 
organization as the eye. But the eye of the earliest crustacean 
is found to be as perfect as the eye of the last hving Serolis 
that was caught ; leaving us to infer that the eye of this class 
has not depended for its structure on any preceding and pro- 
gressive improvements, but that " it was created at the very 
first, in the fulness of perfect adaptation to the uses "2 for wliich 
it was designed ; and, further, that if such changes had not 
been necessary in order to account for the condition of the 
crustacean eye, neither have they been necessary to the present 
condition of that animal as a whole, nor productive of that con- 

8. The observations of mankind for thousands of years, have 
furnished no instance of a transmutation of species.^ Exploded 
statements to the contrary are sometimes revived, and vague 
phenomena are, for a time, confidently reported. But on in- 
vestigation it will be found, that all the imaginary instances of 
such changes may rank under one or other of the following 
heads, — supposed spontaneous generation, which is a thing 
distinct from the translation of species, and which will be pres- 
ently noticed ; or else a variation of the individual plant or 
animal, owing, not to a natural cause, but to artificial treatment 
to that effect ; or else, that large class of instances which 
belong to an imagination more active than trustworthy, and 
not unwilhng to be beguiled. But not one example of a.trans- 

* Twelfth Report of the Brit. Assoc, p. 85. 

2 Dr. Buckland's B. Treatise, p. 403. •' See Note F. 


mutation of species, we repeat, has ever been witnessed or prov- 
ed. Now if it be said that this is a question of time, and that 
the evidence wanting to-day may come into existence a thou- 
!-and ages hence, we have only to reply, that if we are to wait 
ibr the phenomena, we had rather wait also for the hypothesis 
which proposes to explain them. Meantime, we may record 
our wonder, that parties who, on other subjects, refuse to be- 
lieve anything in the absence of facts, evidence, induction, 
s-hould here so readily dispense with them all as superfluities. 

9. The hypothesis proceeds on the assumption that the pro- 
pensities of the animal have determined its organization ; that 
the structural peculiarities of a species have resulted from its 
prolonged efforts at something for which it was not originally 
adapted. Now, allowing this, it only remains for the theorist 
to explain what it is that determined the propensities of any 
given species. If, according to him, the organization, so far 
either from being one with the propensity, or from giving di- 
rection to it, has had actually to be conformed to it, whence 
then this pre-supposed, organizing, creative propensity ? 

10. In direct opposition to the transmutation of species, all 
the great changes of animal conformation which come under 
our notice are prospective ; taking place, not in consequence 
of a new condition, but in preparation for it. ' Thus, the larva 
of the winged insect can only walk ; but, if we take it and dis- 
sect it, just before its metamorphosis is completed, we find an 
apparatus in progress for flight through the air. The embry- 
onic animal has a life adapted to its condition ; but this life is 
subordinate to the formation of organs for a life after birth ; 
and for which, during the whole period of gestation, it is un- 
consciously preparing. 

11. Distinct from the preceding, in particulars, but aiming 
at the same end, is the emhryotic hypothesis according to which 
it is affirmed that the organic germs of all animals are iden- 
tical, and that the higher animals, while in the womb, pass 
through all the successive conditions which, in the lower grades 
of animals, are permanent ; that the quadruped, for example, 
is successively a fish, a reptile, and a bird, before it attains its 
permanent organic form. And the assumption which professes 
to account for these mutations is that of " an advance under 
i'avor of peculiar conditions,"^ by which, at some time, a fish 
produced a reptile ; a reptile, a bird ; and a bird, a beast. 

' Vcstifres of Creation. 


12. Now here again, we might remark, that as no such an 
advance has ever come under human observation, we might 
surely wait for the hypothesis, until the phenomena which it 
undertakes to explain are forthcoming. But as presumptive 
evidence of such an " advance " is supposed to exist in the 
embryotic changes referred to, we must not omit to glance at 
the nature of these changes. And the first remark proper to 
the subject seems to be this ; the strong antecedent probability 
there existed, that marked resemblances would be observable 
between the yet undeveloped embryos of diflerent classes of 
animals. Resemblance to some extent was inevitable, for they 
are all to exist in the same world ; and the points of analogy 
would be multiplied in proportion to the analogous modes of 
their existence after birth. But prior to their birth, and while 
yet their ultimate differences were only in process of forma- 
tion, their apparent resemblances would be the greater, the 
farther back we can carry our observations — resemblances 
implying chiefly the imperfection of our tests. 

13. It is obvious to remark also the strong likeliliood there 
was, on subjective grounds, that embryotic resemblances would 
be overrated, and that mere likeness would be mistaken for 
identity. The tendency of the mind to generalize and conclude 
on insufficient data, admits of abundant illustration. It was 
only necessary for Marsigli to affirm certain spontaneous move- 
ments in the round apertures on the surface of sponges, and 
Ellis persuaded himself that he saw the same and something 
more ; and Pallas reported, Avithout examination, the assertion 
of Ellis ; and, for more than half a century, it was received as 
an established fact in natural history. And in a similar man- 
ner, it was only necessary for certain physiologists to point out 
fissures improperly calle'd bronchial, in the foetus of the mam- 
mal, and two or three other suggestive phenomena ; and forth- 
with others imagined that they saw the gills of the fish, the 
heart of the reptile, and the brain of a number of animals in 
succession, in the same foetal form; and others too readily 
gave currency to such reports as unquestionable facts. Now 
it ought to be sufficient to throw suspicion on the whole hy- 
pothesis when it is known, that these resemblances only relate 
to some one organ or part of the foetus at a time ; that the 
likeness is seen only by dint of refusing to see the difference ; 
and that the difference to be kept out of sight relates sometimes 
to the foetus, and sometimes to the object with which it is com- 
pared, — thus, the primitive streak of the embryo resembles 


tlie zoophyte in wliich nutrition is performed by imbibition, 
but no notice must be taken of the fact that this rudimentary 
streak extends into a membrane which becomes the vascuhir 
area ; it resembles a worm, inasmuch as it is cyUndrical and 
has no limbs for motion, but no notice must be taken of the 
fact, that the worm has rings and contractile bands, for its mo- 
tions, while the embryo has neither;' audits brain maybe 
thought to resemble the brain of different orders of animals, 
provided only that a sufficient variety be summoned for the 
comparison, and that from these a selection be made at a "cer- 
tain point " of foetal development ; taking care that such point 
be any stage of the development at which the resemblance 
may be thought to be most striking. " With what shadow of 
reason," asks Dr. Clark, in his Memoir on Foetal Develop- 
ment, 2 " can any school of anatomists pretend to say, that one 
order of animals can pass into another order, in the way of 
ordinary generation, seeing that the indispensable respiratory 
foetal organs are so different in each? The fallacy which 
allows for a moment such an absurdity to pass, is this — that, 
to serve their purpose, they describe their foetus by its centiial 
portions only, and not by its whole mass, including its organic 
appendages, which are essential to its continued life, and its 
matured structure. 

14. It is to be remarked further, that many of those physiol- 
ogists who have looked not unfavorably on these progressive 
foetal resemblances, have yet qualified their statements with 
such remarks as to make them perfectly useless to the advo- 
cate of the transmutation of species by ordinary generation. 
Thus Fletcher, in his Rudiments of Physiology, after speak- 
ing of it as " a fact of the highest interest and moment " that 
the brain of every class of animals appears to pass, during its 
development, in succession, through the types of all those be- 
low it, adds, " it is hardly necessary to say, that all this is only 
an approximation to the truth ; since neither is the brain of 
all osseous fishes, of all turtles, of all birds, nor of all the spe- 
cies of any one of the above order of mammals, by any means 
precisely the same, nor does the brain of the human foetus at 
any time precisely resemble, perhaps, that of any individual 

' See Dr. W. Clark's Keport on Animal Physiology in the Fourth Re- 
port of the Brit. Association, p. 114. 

^ Read before the Cambridge Philosophical Society, (1845). See also 
the second volume of the Poissons Fossilcs of Agassiz. 


whatever among the lower animals." Even if the resemblance 
had been substantiated, it would not have proved the truth of 
the hypothesis in question ; but here the inaccuracy of the re- 
semblance itself is confessed. 

15. Beyond this, the serial character of the supposed devel- 
opment fails in the most essential parts. The first set of ger- 
minal membranes laid down are those of the organs proper to 
animal life, the nervous system and organs of motion ; but, ac- 
cording to the hypothesis, they ought to be some vegetable 
resemblances. The first indication of the embryo is, as we 
have said, the primitive trace, the rudiment of a back bone, 
and of a continuous spinal cord ; whereas, according to the 
hypothesis, it should have been something assimilatinoj the 
embryo to the avertebral classes ; but these three entire classes 
— radiata, mollusca, and articulata — are passed over without 
any corresponding foetal type. As to the organs of respira- 
tion ; at the very time when the loAver vertebrates are quitting 
the ovum, and " when frogs and fishes are beginning to breathe 
by bronchial tufts and gills, other amphibia and birds are breath- 
ing by allantoid, and never for an instant breathe by gills ; hot- 
blooded quadrupeds are breathing by allantoid and placenta 
jointly ; while man is breathing by placenta alone." As to 
the heart of the foetus of a mammal, " it does not 23ass through 
the form which is permanent in the amphibia, but it does 
pass through a form not found permanent in any known crea- 
ture. This grand correction of an old mistake we owe to the 
concurrent labors of Valentine, Rathke, and Bischoff^ who 
stand in the first rank of discoverers ; and no good anatomist 
has pretended to contradict them. The hearts of birds and 
mammals do not, therefore, pass through forms which are per- 
manent in fishes and reptiles." The development of the brain 
also is marked by corresponding differences ; and the same is 
true of the individuality in respect to sex.i Indeed, it is only 
during the first beginnings of life, and while the organic struc- 
ture is yet in its primary elements, that we are liable to be de- 
ceived by resemblances. But who would infer that because 
the far-distant mountain looked uniformly green, therefore only 
one kind of vegetable clothed it? And yet this would be only 
parallel to the inference that because there is a time when, 
owing to our imperfect means of discrimination, the liver and 
the lung are indistinguishable, therefore they are identical. As 

* Dp. Clark's Memoir on Fa^tul Development. 


soon as ever organs begin to be distinguishable, the distinc- 
tions are found to be specific. And, as far as we know any- 
thing on the subject, these specific diff^erences are constant and 

In the attempt, then, to advocate the transmutation of spe- 
cies by generation, we have phenomena adduced, the existence 
of which physiologists disprove ; as the basis of a hypothesis 
whose object is to explain other phenomena which, it is admit- 
ted, no one ever saw. 

16. But, as if the foregoing hypotheses were not sufficiently 
indefensible already, each of them has to presuppose another 
hypothesis, in order to account for the existence of the first 
species, the hypothesis of spontaneous generation or produc- 
tion. By which it is meant, according to Buffbn and others, 
that plants and animalcules make their appearance under cir- 
cumstances where no germs could have existed, and that they 
are originated by a power inherent in certain material parti- 

17. When it is remembered, however, that most of the in- 
stances which were formerly relied on in proof of the hypo- 
thesis, can now be explained on ordinary principles, the natural 
inference is that an increase of knowledge will enable us to 
explain the residuary phenomena on the same principles. As 
to tenacity of life, it is known of some vegetable seeds that 
they will germinate after they have been kept for many cen- 
turies, and that such minute organisms as flour-eels, and wheel- 
animalcules may not only be reduced to perfect dryness, so 
that all the functions of life shall be suspended for years, yet 
without the destruction of the vital principle, but that in " de- 
spite of drying in vacuo, along with chloride of calcium and 
sulphuric acid, for twenty-eight days, subjected to a heat of 
248° F., some of them have been observed to recover." And 
as to the subtle manner in which germs thus tenacious of life 
obtain access to the interior of living bodies, the probability is 
that they can enter wherever air can penetrate. The fact 
that minute infusory animalcules can be raised with the watery 
vapor, and floated for a season in the atmosphere, deserves, as 
Humboldt remarks in his Cosmos, to be well considered in 
connection with this subject ; especially, since " Ehrenberg has 
discovered in the kind of dust-rain frequently encountered in 
the neighborhood of the Cape de Verd Islands, at a distance 

^ Se Note G. 


of 380 sea miles from the coast of Africa, the remains of 18 
species of siliceous-shelled polygastric animalcules." And if 
entozoa — creatures living in the interior parts of other ani- 
mals — have been found in embryos and in the eggs of birds ; 
so also, says Tiedmann, have pins and small pieces of flint. 

18. Is it not enough to cast suspicion on the hypothesis, 
that when experimental efforts to procure spontaneous produc- 
tion have resulted in the appearance of anything, it should 
have been a full-grown forest of confervee, or an adult infuso- 
ria? These are certainly suggestive of pre-existing germs, 
and seem to presuppose them. But instead of the production 
of the more simple seed and ^^^^ we have the complicated 
and developed individual itself. And that which further as- 
sures us that the individual animalcule has, in such instances, 
been derived from another mdividual of the same species as 
itself, is that its body has been found to be full of eggs. 

19. Indeed, the revelations of the microscope were hardly 
more fatal to the Brahminical doctrine, that animal life should 
never be destroyed for food, than they were, in skilful hands, 
to the hypothesis of equivocal generation. As no stomach 
had been previously rendered visible in the smallest species 
of Infusoria, such as monads, Lamarck and others hastily re- 
garded them as consisting of a mere homogeneous substance, 
having neither mouth nor digestive cavity, and as nourished 
simply by means of absorption through the external surface 
of the body. And here, it was conjectured, we saw an illus- 
tration of the natural development of a particle to a mammal, 
at that 23oint of the process where the organism stands between 
the vegetable and animal worlds. But Ehrenberg, by sup- 
plying these microscopic species with organic coloring matter 
as nutriment, has demonstrated that their bodies are highly 
organized, " provided in all cases with at least a mouth and 
digestive system." Accordingly his arrangement of Infusoria 
is " based on the structure of the digestive system, which gives 
rise to the two natural classes of Polygastrica and liotatoriar'^ 
Besides a digestive apparatus, Ehrenberg has discovered in 
them a generative, and often a muscular system. Both in 
structure and in functions, therefore, they are placed compara- 
tively on a level with the larger animals. The blank which 
they were supposed to fill in the process of transmutation is 
left vacant. The only legitimate conclusion is, that the small- 

' Jenyns's Rcpoi't on Zoology, British Association, 1834, p. 244. 


est of them is derived from an antecedent cause, as natural 
and uniform as that of any other class of animated being. 

20. And this conclusion harmonises with the evidence of 
geology. Had spontaneous production, and the transmutation 
of species, been among the processes of nature, we might have 
expected to meet with abundant indications in the bosom of 
the earth.i The subterranean fossil museum might have been 
expected to be crowded with monstrous malformations. The 
fact is, however, that amidst all the vast accumulations of ani- 
mal remains, not a single abnormal specimen has yet been 
found. Every organic part is finished ; every animal com- 
jilete, — the first of his race as complete as its offspring of the 
present day ; every species articulating with every other spe- 
cies, and falling into the place appointed for it in a perfect 
all-comprehending plan. Accordingly, the verdict returned 
by all the enlightened geologists of the day — some of them 
by no means unduly biassed in favor of the view, is " that 
species have a real existence, and that each was endowed at 
the time of its creation with the attributes and organs by which 
it is now distinguished."^ The following, therefore, are to be 

^ " There are some," says Cixvier, in his Disconrs Prcliminaire to the 
Ossemens Fossilcs, " qui pensent qii'avec des siedes et des habitudes 
toutes les especes pourraient se changer les unes dans les autres, ou re- 
sulter d'une seule d'entre elles." But he naturally inquires, "■ Pourquoi 
les entrailles de la terre n'ont-elles point conserve les monumens d'une 
gencalogie si curieuse ?" 

^ Such is the conclusion at which Mr. Lyell arrives, after occui^ying 
the ITrst four chapters of the second volume of his Principles of Geology, 
in a masterly examination of the arguments which have been advanced 
in favor of transmutation. See also De la Beche's Geological Pesearch- 
es, p. 239. In the same view, Coneybeare ani] Buckland, Philips and 
Sedgwick, concur ; and to these might be added the names of a number 
of eminent physiologists. Les especes perdues ne sont pas des varie'te's des 
esptces vivantes, is Cuvier's first proposition. " Does the hypothesis of 
the transmutation of species afford any explanation of these surprising 
phenomena?" asks Professor Owen, referi'ing to the facts resulting from 
his anatomical examination of fossil animals : " Do the speculations of 
Maillet, Lamarck, and Geoffroy derive any support from this department 
of Palfeontology ?" and he shows that comparative anatomy returns a 
decided negative. Whil6 Agassiz, at the end of his great work, Poissons 
Fossilcs, after rejecting the scheme of natural development, affirms, " It 
is necessary that we recur to a cause more exalted, and recognise influ- 
ences more powerful, exercising over all nature an action more direct, if' 
we would not move eternally in a vicious circle. For myself, I have the 
conviction that species have been created successively at distinct intervals, 
and that the changes which they have undergone during a geological 
epoch are very secondary, relating only to their fecundity, and to mi^^ra- 
tious dependent on epochal influences." 


regarded as among the first principles of physiology ; that 
even those species which most nearly resemble each other, 
exhibit characteristic dilFerences ; and that these characteristic 
diiferences are constant. So that however short the interval 
between any two steps in an animal series may appear to be, 
it is still in reality an abrupt transition. 

21. Classification. — We have remarked also that the 
indications which are traceable that animal life is formed ac- 
cording to a plan, were likely to give rise to a number of 
hypotheses respecting the principle of the classification of the 
animal kingdom. Accordingly, some have fancied that if all 
the species could be collected and arranged, they would be 
found to form a cone or pyramid. . Oken, and a German school 
of zoologists, contend that the animal kingdom is analogous to 
the anatomy of man — each class S23ecially representing a divi- 
sion of the human organs, such as the articulate representing 
the viscera, and the vertebrata the motive organs. Kaup, and 
another school, extend the fancy to the representation of the 
" five senses." Mac Leay propounded the theory, which Swain- 
son and others have subsequently endeavored to develop, that 
all natural groups, of whatever _ denomination, form circles ; 
and that each of these circular groups is resolvable into, exact- 
ly five others. 

22. Now the error which appeared in the transmutation 
hypothesis, is here repeated in another form. There, because 
there is evidence that relations of animal resemblance univer- 
sally exist, the method by which such resemblance is pro- 
duced is unphilosophically inferred without evidence. Here, 
because such relations render the animal kingdom susceptible 
of some arrangement, it is inferred that the arrangement must 
be one of determinate numbers, or of geometrical forms. Such 
a hypothesis, however, has no warrant either in reason or in 
observation. It assumes a regularity, if not even an actual 
organization, in that which is only a mere abstraction, the sys- 
tern of nature. It loses sight of the natural irregularities of 
the inorganic world in all geological periods ; for unless the 
strata of the earth had been formed as regularly as the con- 
centric coatings of an onion, the relations of their organized 
inhabitants could hardly be expected to be such as to presup- 
pose the square compartments of a museum. Indeed, as long 
as organic nature is influenced by inorganic, certain gaps in 
the former cannot fail to exist. To suppose the contrary would 
be to infer that in many cases whole tribes of animals have 


been made, not with a view " to perform certain fimctions in 
the external world, but merely in order to complete the circu- 
larity of a group, to fill a gap in a numerical arrangement, or 
to represent (in other words, imitate) some other group in a 
distant part of the system."^ But the Divine Creator has 
higher ends in view ; nor can his mode of operation be thus 
prescribed, nor its results be predicted. 

23. The true system of classification in the animal kingdom, 
as in the preceding kingdoms, may be supposed to be that 
which determines the afiinities of animals according to the or- 
der and to the relative value of their distinctive characters. 
Thus, regarding the earliest as the lowest in value, we ascend 
to the organs of nutrition, each organ rising in value as the 
order advances ; then to the organs of reproduction in succes- 
sion, as of still greater value : and then to those of sensation 
and volition as of the highest value, including, of course, the 
development of the instinctive affections. So that the rela- 
tionship is to be regarded as nearest, when the resemblance 
lies between those characteristics which are of the highest 

24. According to this method, 1. the classification presup- 
poses, ii4 order to be perfect, a knowledge of all the physiolo- 
gical properties of animals; of the order in which the me- 
chanical, chemical, and symmetrical laws come into operation 
in their constitution ; and the order in which the nutritive and 
reproductive organs are developed. 2. The classification is 
made from a calculation of all the points of resemblance ; none 
being arbitrarily rejected as unimportant. 3. It requires that 
each group shall be formed of such individuals only as resem- 
ble each other more than they resemble anything else, or, as 
have the greatest number of important properties in common. 

4. It combines the principle of the subordination of characters 
— as of the vegetable functions to the animal, with the coinci- 
dence of the two ; for it proceeds on the principle that each 
system is all-related, so that the one graduates with the other. 

5. It provides not only for the arrangement of animals in^iat- 
ural groups, but also for the arrangement of these groups in 
an ascending series according to the scale of animal perfec- 
tion; for it recognises degrees of value or intensity in the 
main phenomena of the animal economy. G. And, as we inti- 

' Stricklancrs Eeport on Ornithology before tlic British Association, 
1844, p. 177. 


mated when treating of vegetable classification, our method 
has become more obvious and certain in the present depart- 
ment, .owing to the new points of comparison and the new 
means of verification consequent on the additional characters 
of motion, sensation, and constrained volition. And it fur- 
nishes the important test which arises from successiveness, or 
the order in which distinctive characters are developed. 


Contingent. — Innumerable illustrations exist to show that 
the arrangements of animal life are contingent on the Divine 

1. In calling attention to the complex adjustments between 
the animal constitution and pre-existing nature, we may be re- 
minded that such adaptations were made indispensable by the 
previous conditions of the system into which the new constitu- 
tion came. But we have seen that these conditions themselves 
exhibit no original and inherent material necessity, but were 
primarily dependent on the Divine volition. Whether, there- 
fore, we regard pre-existing nature as designed in anticipation 
of the animal constitution, or the latter as simply adapted to 
the former, we have a new complication of the proof of a de- 
signing will. Even if animal life could be shown to be a ne- 
cessary development of previously existing elements, still, as 
no one who admits that the properties and laws of the mine- 
ral and vegetable kingdoms were derived from God, would 
deny that He foresaw all such developments, they must be 
held to be a new illustration of the Divine intention. No one 
can imagine, for example, that the air produced the ear, any 
more than he can that the ear produced the air ; or that the 
two, with their complicated and refined adaptations, exist to- 
gether by accident. The light could not have produced the 
exquisite organization of the eye, any more than the eye, as 
an independent organization, could have anticipated the mys- 
terious laws of light. 

2. But while the idea of a necessary development of animal 
life is a mere assumption, the fact of the Divine origination of 
matter at first, is strongly in favor of the inference of the Di- 
vine origination of every new purpose to which it is subsequent- 
ly applied. In harmony with this view, we find that the fossil 
Fauna exhibits no indication of a regular development of Sf)e- 
cies from the most simple up to the most complex. Of the 


four divisions of the animal kingdom, indeed, the principal, or 
vertebral, appears last ; and, of this division, the four classes 
apjDear in the order of natural importance. But among the 
species of these classes, no such order is Observable. For ex- 
ample, of the four orders of iishes, tlie oldest known fossil speci- 
men belongs, as we have seen, to the highest order, and occurs 
in the Silurian rocks ; while the two lowest orders do not 
make their appearance till we reach the cretaceous system. 
We might notice also the manner in which whole families ap- 
pear, increase, flourish for a time, then decline, and finally dis- 
ippear. In the tertiary series, too, we come suddenly on an 
ilmost entire change of species ; and yet so complete was the 
plan or outline of animal life, even at that early i)eriod, that it 
requires no reconstruction, or essential enlargement, for the 
Fauna of the present day. 

3. The directness of the Divine volition is to be inferred 
also from the ground there is to believe that animal life is 
more or less independent of mere external and pre-existing in- 
fluences. That it presupposes the laws of the mineral and 
vegetable kingdoms, and is vitally related to them, we have 
seen. Animals involve, in their construction, certain fun?5- 
tional references to the length of the day, and to the seasons 
of the year. The weight of the earth, the density of the air, 
the dimensions of the solar system, have been taken into ac- 
count in the plan of their constitution. But, besides this sys- 
tem of refined adjustments between things so widely diverse, 
there are numerous indications that the animal plan involves 
other and higher arrangements. There is, for instance, a par- 
ticular period of the year in which the reproductive system of 
animals exercises its energies. And the complicated opera- 
tions of this system " are so arranged that the young ones are 
produced at the time wherein the conditions of temperature 
are most suited to the commencement of life." Now, that the 
young should appear just at the season when their food ap- 
pears, is itself a striking instance of adaptation ; but that the 
time for the commencemeiit of the reproductive process should 
have been fixed with a view to this coincidence ; that this com- 
mencement for the food having been fixed, say, at two months 
before, the commencement for the feeder should have been 
fixed at seven months before that, in order that both might fall 
due at the same time, this must be regarded as preternatural. 
The striking contrast between the embryonic development of 
plants and animals is also deserving of attention ; for, while 


**tlie primary object of vegetable structures appears to be tlie 
establishment of the functions of nutrition," the first indication 
of organic development in the animal embryo is a trace of the 
nervous system, a rudiment of an organ destined to subserve a 
higher order of life, and to subordinate the mere vegetable or 
organic life to its use. The definite and arbitrary manner in 
which i^eculiar organic distinctions and instincts are given and 
confined to certain animals, is further illustrative of the con- 
tingency of the system on the Supreme will.i Surely no one 
can imagine that there was an inherent organic necessity why 
all animals which chew the cud should also cleave the hoof; 
or, any physical necessity why the cell of the bee should be 
hexagonal, and the bee be the only insect that builds a cell 
of such a form. 

Then, again, the very remarkable manner in which different 
nerves are endowed, not with sensibility in general, but each 
with a different kind of sensibility, demonstrates that this prop- 
erty does not inhere in them necessarily. The nerve of touch 
is insensible to light ; the eye may be fingered without pain, 
for the optic nerve is sensitive only to light. Each part of the 
nervous system is an arbitrary and special j^rovision for a defi- 
nite purpose. Indeed, so long as it is evident that the mate- 
rial substance is not the principle of organic life, any more 
than the living principle is the material substance ; and so 
long as it appears that no one organ is universal in the animal 
kingdom, or essential to the phenomena of animal life, so long 
must we recognize in the arrangements of this kingdom the 
operation of the Supreme will. And the fact also that animals 
can be trained to changes of food, and climate, and to the ac- 
quisition of new habits, evinces that, within certain limits, 
they possess a constitution independent of everything but the 
creative appointment. 

4. And the same direct dependence of animal life appears 
from the want of coincidence observable between the condi- 
tions of animal existence and the succession of these exist- 
ences. It can hardly be necessary to repeat our settled con- 

^ That the power which determines these distinctions is not dependent 
on external physical influences, " is ascertained from the facts, that ova 
belonging to species the most different are all developed according to 
their kinds, under similar external conditions ; and that ova of the same 
species are true to their kinds, under conditions which are not absolutely 
the same for any two individuals." — Dr. W. Clark's Report on Animal 
Physiology, Brit. Assoc. 1854. 


viction that tlie appearance of animal life has been made to 
depend on certain physical and organic conditions. But it 
may be important to restate, that it is by no means a conse- 
quence of this arrangement, that the existence of these condi- 
tions shall be invariably followed by the existence of the life. 
According to the theory of natural development, indeed, this 
connection is invariable, inevitable ; for these natural condi- 
tions are supposed to be causes, and the only causes necessary 
to the production of life ; so that if the new creation did not 
follow the new condition, the law of natural development would 
prove a fiction. Yet such apparent irregularities abound. For 
example, " as to the corals of the Silurian system, the Wen- 
lock species certainly did not make, their api^earance in thf" 
calcareous beds of the Caradoc series, where similar conditions 
prevailed."! Again, certain families, the Nautilus, Echinus, 
and Terebratula, have pervaded strata of every age ; why did 
the physical conditions of the secondary series fail to re-pro- 
duce the Trilobites, as they did the Nautilus, both of which 
had existed together in the preceding series ? Or what was 
there in the fishes — say the two orders of Cycloids and Cte- 
noids, which make their appearance for the first time in the 
cretaceous system, less suited to the temperature, and other 
conditions, of the preceding series, than in the Cestraciont fami- 
ly of that series to the conditions of the second and the third, 
throughout which they have continued to exist together even 
to the present day ? Evidently, the physical conditions of life 
are essentially distinct from its causes, and could never have 
been unphilosophically confounded with them, but in order to 
'serve a hypothesis. Add to which, the facts which fossil geol- 
ogy supplies, if they are to be admitted as evidence at all, are 
directly opposed to the theory of development. For while, as 
we have shown, the order in which the great vertebral classes 
come into view, harmonizes with the law of. creative progres- 
sion, the succession in which the orders of these classes make 
their appearance is, on the whole, in the reverse direction. 
Now if the succession of the classes favors the theory of natu- 
ral development, what is to be inferred from the succession of 
the orders ? It will not do to accept the one as evidence, and 
to put the other out of court. And then it is to be observed 
that, while the apparently different direction taken by these 
classes and orders may be perfectly compatible with the ope- 

> See Note H. 


ration of Divine appointment, and even intentionally illustra' 
tive of it, a single deviation from the supposed straight line 
of natural development, is entirely subversive of the theory. 

5. From such evidence, the only conclusion at which we can 
arrive is, that in the animal kingdom, as well as in the mineral 
and vegetable worlds, the originating cause is the Divine voli- 
tion. And if so, the time of its commencement, the varieties 
which it should include, the order of their appearance, their 
instincts and habits, and the geological and geographical dis- 
tribution of the entire plan, are dependent on the Sovereign 

• XVI. 

Ultimata. — If animal life be thus dependent on the Divine 
volition, we must expect to find that it will reveal the existence 
of ultimate truths. In the last stage, we found the mystery of 
organic life. In the present, we find the great mystery of sen- 
sation, the medium of enjoyment, added to the mystery of hfe. 
What is the principle of a sense ? How is it that impressions 
on the nerves can speak to the animal of an external world ? 
How is it that, by the aid of its nervous system, it can become 
acquainted apparently not only with impressions, but with 
things ; with the forms, and quaUties, and actions of objects ? 
And what is the underived cause of all the phenomena which 
we denominate mstinct, affection, passion, and animal volition ? 

1. There are those who have set about the vain task of re- 
solving all the phenomena of sensation into the operation of 
physical agents; but one of the first discoveries they have 
made is, that they must be allowed to indulge in the slight in- 
consistency of supposing a principle not physical, in order to 
begin even to work out their theory. For a time, the vital 
'principle was the popular hypothesis ; but tliis was a principle 
which, as it did not belong to the domain of physics, was the 
very phenomenon which required explanation. Bichat pre- 
ferred animal sensibility and contractility ; and these words are 
as descriptive, perhaps, of what we believe to take place, as 
any that can be employed ; but still they leave us to seek for 
the cause of the phenomena. And, says Lamarck, one of tlie 
most extravagant speculators on the subject, " I was soon con- 
vinced that the internal sentiment constituted a power which it 
was necessary to take into account." And, hence, Lawrence, 
in his lectures on physiology, while alFirming that the same 


kind of reasoning which shows digestion to be the function of 
the alimentary canal, proves that sensation is the animal func- 
tion of its appropriate organ, adds, " if we go beyond this, and 
come to inquire the manner how, the mechanism by which, 
these things are eifected, we shall find everything around us 
equally mysterious, equally incomprehensible." 

2. Further, " it is useful to remark, that the ultimate laws 
of nature cannot possibly be less numerous, than the distin- 
guishable sensations or other feelings of our nature, — those I 
mean which are distinguishable from one another in quality, 
and not merely in quantity or degree." i In relation to the 
phenomenon of color, for example, no evidence that some 
chemical or mechanical action invariably preceded the phe- 
nomenon, would " explain how or why a motion, or a chemical 
action, should i^roduce a sensation of color." And the same 
is true of every class of sensations. Point out as many inter- 
vening phenomena as we may, we sooner or later come to a 
point where a principle is to be presupposed. In every at- 
tempt at explanation, we have to introduce the idea of some 
antecedent or other which produces the sensation. In other 
words, the sensitive process is not caused by sensation, but by 
some power which exists independently of the animal in which 
its effects are developed. 

Here, again, animal life, like organic life, is to be viewed in 
relation either to space or to time. Eegarded in its relation to 
space, the question arises, how came it really and objectively 
to be ? We may trace the phenomena wliich it exhibits, from 
the adult animal to the embryo -^ or from the animal of to-day 
through fossiliferous strata of every age, and through varying 
generic forms, back to the first form of its existence, but at no 
stage can we find that it contains anything to account for its 
origination. And could we have investigated the first animal 
form that breathed, we must have felt instinctively, that the 
reasons of its sensational existence at all and of that existence 
being what it was, were grounded alike in the will of God. 
And then, as to its relation to time ; if the first moment of ani- 

^ Mills' Logic, ii. § 2. 

^ In his work on Physiology, Tiedemann remavks, " When it is said 
that organic movements are occasioned by external influences, we do not 
admit that they are the immediate effects of the external mechanical or 
chemical impressions ; but we assert that they are the effects of powers 
which the external impression, be it mechanical or be it chemical, has 
thus solicited to act." 



mal sensation revealed a benevolent Creator, the second mor 
ment revealed a benevolent or ever acting Providence, for that 
sensation continued. To suppose that because we see notliing 
more than the organic processes, therefore there is nothing 
more, is to confound the means of sensational manifestation 
with the thing manifested. Laws are not causes. Nor do the 
regularity of the laws denote the absence of the Law-giver. 
Rather, they demonstrate His presence. Nor does the con- 
tinuance of the organic processes render them less dependent 
than they were at first — as if they could acquire self-suffi- 
ciency by the lapse of time. They are now what Uiey were 
when they were called into existence ; the mere means of the 
manifestation of an independent and anterior power. 

4. And thus we have found that everything traceable to an 
ultimate fact, involves a mystery which points us silently but 
emphatically to Him whose Nature it is calculated to illustrate. 
That one class of physical phenomena — for example, the in- 
organic — is associated with motion only ; that another class 
— the organic — is associated with motion and life ; and that 
another class of organized phenomena is associated with mo- 
tion, life, and sensation, is, substantially, all that we can learn. 
Why motion and matter, life and matter, or sensation and mat- 
ter, should thus be found in union, can be explained by no 
physical laAv whatever. Here all the sciences are equally and 
utterly at fault. They cannot show that the union is necessa- 
ry ; but only that, as fai* as observation goes, the conjunction 
is uniform. They cannot imitate, but only proclaim it. Our 
theory affirms that the sufficient reason why activity, life, and 
enjoyment exist in creation, is that the same properties exist 
in an infinitely higher respect in the Divine Creator ; that one 
reason, at least, why He uniformly associates each with a cer- 
tain class of phenomena, is that, as the ultimate end of each is 
the manifestation of His Nature, such uniformity is essential 
in order to our attainment of that end ; and that the mystery 
investing the union of each with a certain class of phenomena, 
is just that which necessarily attends the arbitrary conjunction 
of things essentially different — of Creative mind with created 
matter. The mystery would not, could not, be diminished, 
were activity, life, and sensation to be associated with any 
other class of material phenomena. And this veiy fact, by 
proclaiming the dependence of motion, life, and enjoyment on 
the Will of the Creator, promotes the ultimate end of creation 
by disclosing the power and wisdom, the goodness and bound- 
less resources of His exalted Nature. 



Necessary truth. — The law of ultimate facts conducts us to 
the law of necessary truth. 

1. We have seen matter take possession of space, and life 
take possession of matter ; now, we find sensibility added to 
life. And whether we look at the addition as an object or an 
event, in its relation to space or to time, we cannot but feci 
that the idea of, at least, a conscious Creator is indispensable. 
The sentient object contains nothing in itself to account i'ov 
anything more than the manifestation of its peculiar endow- 
ments ; the endowments themselves authoritatively refer us to 
an independent cause ; for to conceive of their absolute seh- 
origination is impossible. 

Or if, tracing back the existence of animal life historically, 
we conceive of the first of its kind, we are compelled to pro- 
suppose an adequate cause of that life. Nor can we then cou- 
ceive of that Conscious cause as not existing. We cannot but 
conceive of Him as existing prior to all objective revelation, 
and independently of it. In the objective world we behold 
the manifestation of an attribute, which could not but have 
existed subjectively from eternity. This new stage of creation 
brings to light another of the necessary perfections of the 


Change. — Once more we are brought to that point in our 
subject which leads us to speak of the laiv of change. 

1. And, again, we have to remark that, in addition to the 
reason for expecting such a change derivable from the fact 
that it is involved in the very nature of a progressive system, 
the introduction of animal life brings with it an entirely new 
ground for anticipating yet another stage. But the question 
with which we have now especially to do, relates to the reason 
that made the time of the great change which brought in the 
human dispensation, tlie right time. For even those who, as 
we think, erroneously adoi )t the hypothesis of development by 
natural law, must admit that the La^vgiver would prospecti\e- 
ly regulate the development of the law, for the same reason 
that the law itself was appointed. 

2. Admitting, then, that the successive clianges of creation 
have not hitherto taken place either accidentally or capricious- 


Ij, we have to advert to the reason of the next change which 
ended the mere animal economy. Noav the event has declared 
that the new stage was to be distinguished by the creation of 
man. The advocates of development by natural law would 
infer, therefore, that as soon as ever certain natural conditions 
were present, man would emerge into being by an inevitable 
necessity ; that the only reason for his appearance would be 
the concurrence of certain favorable organic conditions, inde- 
pendently of any Divine interposition. Now, while we freely 
admit that the time of man's creation presupposes the exis- 
tence of innumerable conditions, organic and inorganic, and 
shall hereafter have to direct our admiring attention to the in- 
conceivable complication of these conditions, we must protest 
more earnestly than ever against the attempt to confound crea- 
ted conditions with the Creating cause. For aught that geol- 
ogy can show to the contrary, man might have ai)})eared at a 
much earlier period than he did, had it so pleased his Creator. 
The origin of many of the warm-blooded species around him 
dates from an earlier period ; and who shall say that the mere 
natural conditions which their appearance presupposes were 
not adequate for the time of his appearance, if the Deity had 
so pleased? Were we confidently to affirm their adequacy, 
Ave should not be so unphilosophical as they are who argue 
that because an event cannot take place without certain condi- 
tions, therefore it must uniformly and inevitably take place 
with them. 

3. While it is admitted, then, that, in harmony with the law 
of progression, the creation of man could not be expected to 
take place prior to the existence of certain natural conditions, 
Avhether or not it might then be exj^ected, Avould, we believe, 
depend on what we have called the law of the end ; or, rather, 
on the coincidence of the two laAvs. We have to ask, then, 
\\'hether the ultimate end of the })resent stage of creation had, 
in any sense, been adequately attained ? Does the long suc- 
cession of animal worlds, including the present, exhibit all the 
illustrations of all-sufficient Benevolence, which, under the cir- 
cumstances, might have been expected ? Now if we can be 
content with answering this question inferentially and approx- 
imately — the only kind of answer which, in the present in- 
stance, our mental constitution and our data render possible — 
we can only return one reply, and that in the athrmative. If 
it should appear, for example, not only that the animal econ- 
omy is minutely adapted lor enjoyment, but that the complica- 


ted arrangements of the inorganic and vegetable worlds were 
prospectively constructed with a view to that enjoyment ; so 
that where before we saw only design we now see goodness* 
also ; if it should appear, further, that animal life has been 
successively modified, so as to be kept in harmony with the 
altered character of other kingdoms of nature ; that this suc- 
cession of changes has been, on the whole, a succession of en- 
largements, so that both the domains of animal life, and the 
degree of animal enjoyment, have ever been on the increase ; 
and that every element, region, and situation, where life can 
exist, is crowded with animated beings, as if Goodness rejoiced 
to find, in the endless diversity of the physical conditions, scope 
for its own endless resources to meet them, and to convert them 
into new stores of enjoyment ; what more can be necessary to 
evince the all-sufficiency of Creative benevolence ? 

4. Now that all these conditions are realized, and realized in 
a manner the variety and degree of which is inconceivable, is 
beyond all question. Animal physiology shows, as we have 
seen, that the ways in which the inorganic and vegetable crea- 
tions were preconfigured to the requirements of animal life, 
are literally inniunerable. Complicated though the laws, even 
of the first of these, were, to a degree which science probably 
will never be able fully to explain ; the addition of the second 
complicated them still further ; and, though the complication 
was again repeated in the addition of the animal economy, yet 
every one of them all then became, for the first time, a channel 
of pleasure. As if every element and law of the material uni- 
verse had been selected, weighed, measured, and commingled, 
to form a vast apparatus for animal well-being alone, the whole 
combined to welcome the new made sentient creation, and to 
bathe it in enjoyment. And " the world, once inhabited, has 
apparently never, for any ascertainable period, been totally 
despoiled of its living wonders. But there have been many 
.changes in the individual forms; great alterations in the gen- 
eric assemblages ; entire revolutions in the relative number 
and development of the several classes. Thus the systems of 
life have been varied, from time to time, to suit the altered con- 
dition of the planet, but never extinguished." ^ As we ascend 
from the first few species of the Snowdon slates, to the hun- 
di'cds of species in the Silurian formations, and number almost 

* Supplementary Note to Prof. Powell's Connection, &c.; by John 
Phillips, Esq., p. 309. 


by thousands in the oolite, and by thousands on thousands as 
we pass through the tertiary, till we emerge amidst the hun- 
dreds of thousands of now existing species, we are struck not 
merely with additions but with changes. Species, genera, 
whole groups of animals, come in, and die out ; to be replaced 
and followed by others in turn. Four times, at least, do these 
changes take place in the course of the tertiary era; and to an 
extent which leaves hardly a species of the first period extant 
among the species now living. Of testaceous creatures, for 
example, the conchologist finds about seven thousand living 
species. But of these he finds only one or two among the four 
thousand fossil kinds, by the time he has descended to the 
chalk formation. General analogies of structure and adapta- 
tion remain, but the species are all changed. ^ Of fishes, the 
carboniferous, oolitic, and chalk formations, present respectively 
an entire change of genera. Agassiz, who enumerates seven- 
teen hundred species of fossil fishes, and about eight thousand 
living species, states that, with the solitary excejDtion of a spe- 
cies found in the nodules of claystone, on the coast of Green- 
land, and which is probably a modern concretion, he has " found 
no animal in all the transition, secondary, and tertiary strata, 
which is specifically identical with any fish now living." 2 In- 
deed, not a single species of fossil fishes has yet been found 
that is common to any two great geological formations.^ 

5. The evidence, however, that animal life, once introduced 
on the earth, has been continued through immeasurable periods, 
and not only continued, but enlarged, and not only enlarged but 
changed again and again for new systems of life — though suf- 
ficient of itself to establish the power of the Deity to impart 
unlimited sentient enjoyment — we have the means of increas- 
ing to any amount. As to the wonderful diversity of animal 
sizes, we might begin with Ehrenberg's pohshing slate, formed 
of infusoria, of which about 41,000 millions are contained in 
a cubic inch ; or still lower with the animalcules of the Rasen- 
eisen or iron-clod, of which a cubic inch contains about a bil- 
lion ; and we might show them ranging through all the inter- 
mediate degrees up to the crocodilean Megalosaurus of fifty or 
seventy feet in length, or to the Dinotherium giganteum, the 
largest of all terrestrial mammalia yet discovered. We might 

* Lycll's Prin., iii. 369—373. Fifth Edit. 

' Poissons Possilcs. Tom. 1. pt. xxx., T. iii. p. 1 — 52. 

» Dr. Buckhmd, vol i. p. 273—277. 


speak of the vast variety of animal forms; but, of these, the 
mind is apt to fix onl)^ on the more stranp^e and striking — the 
heavy-armed megathei-ium, the large-eyed ichtliyosaunan, the 
colossal lizard igiianodon, the long necked plesiosaurian, and 
the still more monstrous bat-winged ])tei-odactyle — and to 
overlook the ten thousand ordinary forms of animal life ; while 
to think of the internal structures suggested by, and answering'- 
to, all these forms, is to be absolutely overwhelmed. Advert 
ing to the multiplication of life characteristic of some species, 
we might point to the remarkable fact that the creatures com- 
monly referred to as the smallest in size, should be those which, 
by their rapid increase, present themselves in the most amaz- 
ing masses. Thus the Monada^, the smallest of infusoria, form, 
by accumulation, subterraneous strata many flithoms in thick- 
ness. The mountain limestone, about a thousand feet thick, 
and often many miles in length and breadth, consists of nothing 
else than the remains of coralline and testaceous forms com- 
pressed into hard masses.' In relation to animal fecundity, it 
is enough to refer either to parts of the Greenland seas so 
swarming with medusa? that, as it has been curiously calcu- 
lated, in a cubic mile the number is such that, allowing one 
person to count a million in a week, it would have required 
eighty thousand persons, from the creation of the world, to 
complete the enumeration; or to the hotter zones of the earth, 
where, between the tropics, many thousand square miles of 
ocean teem with light-engendering hfe ; and, of " the wide level 
glowing with lustrous sparks, every spark is the vital motion 
of an invisible animal world. " Of the universality of animal 
life we sfiall speak again ; for the present it may be sufficient 
to state, generally, that, from the floor of the ocean, where its 
depths surpass the height of our loftiest mountains, every suc- 
cessive stratum of waters is crowded with its own orders of 
life ; and that from the sea-shores where the innumerable hosts 
of light flashing mammaria " turn each wave into luminous 
foam," up through every stage of ground rising to the line of 
eternal snow, animal life is adapted to every part, and is dif- 
fused over the whole. 

6. Here, surely, is evidence more than adequate to attest 

* There is now considerable evidence that the vast deposits spoken of 
here and in the ])receding page, and supposed by Ehrcnberg: to consist 
of infusorial remains, should be referred to the vegetable kingdom. This 
circumstance, however, does not prejudice the train of thouglit which led 
to the reference. Other illustrations of it might be easily summoned. 


the siifficiencj of Divine benevolence for the same hind of 
sentient enjoyment to any possible extent. That the display, 
boundless as it is to us, is not absolutely infinite, is admitted, 
for such a display is an impossibility ; and, if possible, would 
be utterly useless to man as a proof of infinite goodness. That 
the display, indefinite as it is to us, might be more extended 
still, inasmuch as the planet itself might have been more ex- 
tended, is admitted, and the same might be said, and would be 
true, even though the enlargement should advance for ever. 
But the question is, whether the existing display of the Divine 
resources is not suflScient to warrant the conviction, that, even 
in the event of such enlargement, Creative Benevolence would 
be more than adequate to replenish the whole with enjoyment ; 
that though the largest material area must be necessarily lim- 
ited, the goodness of God could fill the whole, and show itself 
unlimited ? Now, no one can doubt, judging from the proof? 
we possess, the adequacy of the divine resources for an ever 
increasing exercise of the same kind of benevolence to any 
extension of space or of time. But, if the design of the animal 
creation be to illustrate, in the sense explained, the all-suffi- 
ciency of the Divine goodness, we must admit, that not till the 
evidence of such sufficiency was complete, could the appropri- 
ate time for man's creation have arrived. 


Reason of the Method. — Respecting the reason of the Divine 
method in creation, we have again to remark that it is twofold ; 
relating, partly, to the constitution of the creature by whom the 
method is to he studied, and involving his well-being ; and partly 
to his destiny, as a being capcd)le of voluntarily promoting the 
great end of creation, and so involving, in addition, the glory of 
the Divine Creator. 

1. In illustration of the first part, it would be easy to show, 
were this the proper place, that there is not one of the laws of 
the method to which our attention has been directed, which is 
not indispensable. Thus, by placing the animal in universal 
relation to the inorganic and vegetable kingdoms, and by ex- 
pressing this complicated relation with all the constancy and 
regularity of law, the Creator was but saying, in effisct, in ref- 
erence to man, Let his domestication of animals and their sub- 
serviency to him, be possible. And so also in constructing the 
animal economy according to a plan. He was, in effect, deter- 


tcrmining that comparative anatomy, and animal physiology, 
should be possible to man. The training and government of 
animals are among man's first lessons on the art of self-gov- 
ernment, especially in the pastoral and agricultural states of 
society, while their habits and instincts are full of instruction, 
and the sights and sounds with which they enliven creation 
are perpetually appealing to his emotions. 

But, thfeii, if man is to be educated and benefitted by this 
stage of the Divine procedure, a medium must be observed 
between a disheartening depth and diversity in its laws, on 
the one hand ; and a tame, unexciting superficiality and same- 
ness, on the other. The effect of the former extreme would 
be, that the volume of nature would never be opened ; and the 
result of the latter, that it would be shut almost as soon as 
opened. Now that such a medium is observed, is evident from 
the event. The zoology of nature is, ordinarily, the first book 
that engages the attention of childhood, and stimulates its 
opening efforts at comparison. It was the book from which 
the father of the human race received his " first lessons on 
objects."! And though from that time to this, man has been 
exploring its pages, yet, so far from being exhausted, it never 
engaged so much attention as it does at present, nor so filled 
the student with the conviction that it is inexhaustible. But 
it addresses only the attentive eye and the willing ear. For 
the observant and comparing eye of an Aristotle,^ it has still 
unnumbered facts awaiting the right arrangement, and laws 
admitting of illustration to an indefinite extent. And for the 
listening ear, it is ever uttering new ^sopian fables, and each 
with a weighty moral ; but only for the listening ear. 

2. The second part of the reason is equally self-commend- 
ing ; for if animated nature is to be so construed by man as to 
subserve the ultimate end of creation, all the laws which we 
have pointed out as belonging to the method of the Divine 
procedure are, in one respect or another, indispensable. They 
have made the manifestation of the Creator possible. We 
cannot, indeed, conceive of his operations, except as activity 
according to law ; for He is " the God of order." So that in 
embodying law, and making it visible. He is saying, in effect, 
Let the knowledge of the Lawgiver be possible. In imprint- 

^ Gen. ii. 19, 20. 

^ Conformity of structure is the leading principle of his classification 
of animals, in his work, nepl Zwwv ^iGtoplag, as well as of Cuvier in his 
Le liegne Animal. 



ing certain signs of dependence on animated nature, He is, in 
effect, leading up our minds to His own independence. The 
manner in which He has been pleased to add sentient enjoy- 
ment to organic life, is studiously adapted to remind us that 
the addition was by no means inherently necessary ; but that 
everything relating to the mode of its manifestations, to the 
extent of the animal kingdom, and to its progressive filling up, 
are all referrible to His own purpose. So also of the selected 
and prepared variety of natural productions which awaited 
the coming of man ; " till that variety was occasioned on the 
globe, it was not the fitting place for intellectual man that it 
now is. For, surely, among other uses and correlations of the 
visible creation, this is one — by its inexhaustible diversity, 
and ever-growing newness, to interest with a perpetual charm 
the growing mind of a rational being, and to lead him to the 
cultivation of the divine thing within him, which raises him 
above all that his senses make known ; and thus to fit him for 
the highest contemplation of which he is capable ; namely, the 
relation which he bears to the unseen Author of all tliis 
visible material world."i 

3. Here again, however, the means must be measured, and 
the evidence balanced between two extremes. The signs of 
the Divine presence and agency must be sufficient for convic- 
tion, but not for compulsion. Accordingly, every law has its 
apparent exception ; and every phenomenon its centre or cir- 
cumference of difficulty and mystery. The uniformity of na- 
ture holds on its way, leaving man to infer its Divine origin- 
ation and superintendence, or, if he will, to " explode the 
hypothesis of a God." The evidences of design are inexhaust- 
ible ; but if man chooses to call certain things wdiich his ' know- 
ledge but of yesterday' fails at present to explain, defects, no 
coercive power restrains liim. Proofs of the Divine goodness 
are lavished around him ; but if he is pleased to infer that the 
conflicting instincts of animals, and animal death, are incom- 
patible with goodness, though forming, in fact, a provision for 
securing the greatest amount of sentient enjoyment — he is at 
responsible liberty to do so. The law^s of nature are not 
audibly proclaimed from Sinai ; though, to the apprehensive 
mind, every object is a table of stone, written over with, the 
finger of God. Nature is a volume which is " open night and 
day," and he that runneth may read. But while to one the 

' Professor Phillips. 


very first page is gloriously inscribed with the great name of 
the Author, to another every page is a blank ; for it is writteL 
throughout as with sympathetic ink. 


The ultimate end. — The laws of the method^ and the reason 
of it, fold their end, in relation to the present stage of the 
Divine procedure, in contributing to illustrate the ail-sujfficiency 
of the goodness of God. 

1. In harmony with the view already propounded, that each 
preceding display of the Divine perfection may be expected to 
be brought forwards and enlarged in each successive stage of 
creation, we have to remark on the continued exercise of the 
power of the Deity. During the whole of the period now 
under consideration, the forces of inorganic nature continued, 
as far as we know, in full activity. The celestial mechanism 
was ever in motion. On our own planet, the gradual uprising 
of the Carpathians, the Pyrenees, the Alps, and other moun- 
tain chains, showed the unspent activity of the subterranean 
forces. While the regular reproduction -of organic life after 
each geological change, and on the return of every season, 
went on augmenting the proofs of the all-sufficiency of the 
Divine Power. But here were now new displays of the same 
energy. It originated and sustained the new principle of ani- 
mal life in all its endless varieties of organization. Life by 
no means necessarily results from any of these varieties. And 
hence it is that no organ is universal in the animal kingdom. 
Uniform, therefore, as the connection may be between animal 
organization and animal life, the former is necessary to the 
latter, not for its existence, but only for its exhibition. And 
the more comphcated the organization, the richer the illustra- 
tion supplied of the energy of the great originating Cause. 
The single property of muscular contractility, adapted and 
employed as it is by the Divine wisdom, converts the breath- 
ing frame into a system of animal mechanics of prodigious 
power and incessant activity. But in order to form an idea 
of the display of energy added, by this stage of creation, to all 
that had gone before, we should be able to multiply the aver- 
age strength of each animal engine by the average number of 
myriads living at any one time, and these agam by the myriads 
of ages which have elapsed since animal life commenced. 

2. And here again Power is seen subservient to Wisdom ; 


presenting its vast resources as means for the accomplislimeni 
of important ends. In the first stage, for instance, we saw 
that air was the great agent in the changes of meteorology ; in 
the second, we saw every leaf of the forest feeding on it ; and 
now we find it discharging additional offices, as the breath of 
animal life, and the vehicle of sound. Thus, at every step, 
our views of the prospective arrangements of creation acquire 
a wider range, and the proofs of Design become more compli- 
cated and profound. Again : we saw that the atmosphere i.s 
composed of different khids of air, and that these again are of 
different densities. What then will take place when two or 
more kinds of air are brought together ? will not the heavier 
subside, and the lighter ascend, like oil floating on water? 
The analogy of gases to liquids would lead us to expect this. 
But the " principle of gaseous diffusion," as it is called, deter- 
mines otherwise. Two kinds of air — say hydrogen and car- 
bonic acid, which latter, bulk for bulk, is twenty times heavier 
than hydrogen — cannot be in contact without melting away 
into each other, and becoming uniformly mixed. Is any end 
to be answered by this remarkable law ? Is it a provision ? Now 
that the animal kingdom is come, if not before, we can reply to 
the inquiry. If the heavy carbonic acid of the atmosphere, 
copiously generated as it is from a variety of sources, had 
simply obeyed the law of gravitation, and rested on the surface 
of the earth, animal life would have been poisoned in its birth. 
If the whole were collected into a bed or layer, it is calculated 
that it would surround the surface of the earth with a stratum 
of about thirteen feet in thickness. In this irrespirable all- 
encircling ocean, life would be impossible. But the law of 
inter-ditfusion is always in silent operation, obviating the evil. 
By it the most noxious exhalations are diluted, and made inno- 
cent. And thus — not by a chemical action of the gases on 
each other — but by simple mixture, by an aerial mechanism, 
a world of life and happiness exists, where else there would 
have stagnated and slept an ocean of death. 

3. What is the form or figure to be given to a solid body, of 
certain dimensions, in order that it may move through the air 
or water with the least resistance ? Mathematical reasoning 
of a very abstruse nature determines that it must be a curve. 
But the curve-like face or front of fishes anticipates the discov- 
ery, and shows their adaptation, on matliematical principles, 
for most easily moving through the element they were made to 
live in. The art of ship-building has reached its present per- 


fection as the result of many corrections, improvements, and 
slowly-matured devices. They are all forestalled in nature ; — 
the boat-like figure ; the paddle-shaped levers, and their suc- 
cessive impulses ; the rudder-like tail ; the sail-like membrane, 
hoisted or furled, with ease, for scudding before the breeze. 
The valves by which the maker of a hydraulic engine prevents 
the retrograde motion of the fluids which are to pass through 
particular parts, were performing their functions in the animal 
economy before man was made. Long-continued mathematical- 
and chemical experiments have led to a succession of improve- 
ments in the instruments of the optician ; but on comparing 
each, in succession, with the eye, they are found to be all 
there ; together with a number of j^ro visions — exquisite rciine- 
ments of provision — unknown to man's imperfect workman- 
ship, and by which the refracting powers of the eye are instant- 
ly adjusted to the different distances of the objects viewed, the 
organ is rendered achromatic, is protected, kept clean, and 
moved in various directions. The engineer makes his axles 
and various parts of his machinery hollow, for it has been dis- 
covered that hollow rods and tubes, of the same length 
and quantity of matter, have more strength than solid ones. 
The bones of animals are all more or less hollow ; and thus 
attain the end of the greatest strength with the least weight 
and quantity of matter. In the bones of birds, this principle 
is remarkably exemplified, as well as in the construction of 
their quills; and thus they are adapted for flight. But, in 
addition, in distinction from all other animals, the air vessels 
of their lungs communicate with the hollow parts of their 
bodies, enabling them to blow out their bodies as we do a 
bladder, and thus to rise and to regulate their flight. The air- 
bladders of fishes answer a similar purpose. Mathematical 
reasoning demonstrates that if it be proposed to fill a certa'n 
space with the greatest number of little cells, all of the same 
size and shape, there are only three shapes which will answer ; 
and that, of these, that which combines the greatest convenience 
with the greatest strength, is the figure of six equal side . 
Now this is precisely the shape of the cells of bees, by which 
they effect the greatest possible saving both of room and of 
material. But more ; the higher parts of algebra enable t\\o. 
mathematician to prove that, to save the most room, and to 
give the greatest strength to the cell, the loof and the floo,- 
must be made of three square planes meeting in a point ; n\,d 
that there is one particular inclination of thCiC planes to ea-u 


other where they meet, which effects a greater saving of mate- 
rial and of labor than any other inclination could effect. Thou- 
sands of years before the mathematician had slowly and ab- 
strusely worked his way to this conclusion — a conclusion of 
which Newton was ignorant, though it is one of the fruits of 
his most wonderful discovery — the bee was acting in harmony 
with it in every cell which it made. As far as we know, the 
beaver builds his dam on principles as mathematically correct, 
to give the greatest resistance to the water in its tendency to 
turn the dam round, as the bee its cell.^ But the illustrations 
of Creative wisdom, in the animal kingdom, are endless. 
Every page of science teems with them. 

4. The particular and proximate ends attained in the ani- 
mal economy are innumerable, and yet all related. For exam- 
ple : there is hardly a bone which has not a constitution of its 
own, or a disposition of its material specifically adjusted to its 
place and use ; there is not one of these which is not formed in 
relation to the whole individual structure to which it belongs ; 
there is not an individual structure which is not formed in 
relation to the entire scheme of animal organization ; while 
that scheme itself exists in close relationship to the whole circle 
of external nature. Still more are we impressed with the 
resources of Creative wisdom when we reflect, that while the 
admission of a single new principle into a complicated machine 
is attended with results which the utmost ingenuity can hardly 
anticipate, the indescribable variety of form and condition in 
which animal life seems to revel is the result of a principle 
endlessly diversified, as if for the sole purpose of showing that 
the difficulties created can be overcome. We might instance 
the various modes of reproduction, gemmiparous and gemmuli- 
parous, fissiparous and oviparous, marsupial and viviparous ; 
and the diversified kinds of locomotion. The number of dis- 
tinct species of insects already known is about a hundred thou- 
sand ; but while every species differs from all the rest, conform- 
ity is preserved throughout the whole to the same general plan 
of construction. Even when the purpose to be attained is 
identical, the means which are employed are inconceivably 
diversified, and although this diversity has to be carried through 
the minutest parts of the organization, yet every structure, 
from the most simple to the most comphcated, is alike finished, 

' See the admirable Pi-eliminary Treatise of the Lilirary of Useful 
Knowledge, on the Objects, Advantages, and Pleasures of Science. 


and perfectly adaj^ted to its destined condition. And when we 
find, in addition, that all this variety of mechanical cont^i^•ances, 
chemical agencies, jjrospective arrangements, com})ensations, 
and compreherlsive inter-dependencies, is the develoi)ment of 
a scheme which embraces the whole range of zoology ; and 
that even when no other end appears to be answered by any 
part of the process, it has, at least, a direct application in fill- 
ing up a place which would be otherwise unoccupied in the 
all-comprehending system, we almost involuntarily coniess to 
the boundlessness of the Creative wisdom. 

5. But here, both Power and Wisdom are seen in subser- 
vience to Goodness. The results of the preceding stages of 
creation are brought on to the present. So that on looking 
back from this advanced position, we can now see goodness, 
where before we beheld only wisdom and power ; for we per- 
ceive that both the productions of power, and the arrangements 
of wisdom, waited to find their places in the service of Benevo- 
lence ; that when Omnipotence was laying the foundations of 
the earth, and Infinite Wisdom was rearing the superstruc- 
ture, it was only that Goodness might have a theatre in wliich 
to display its inexhaustible resources of animal enjoyment. 

6. Now what are the conditions on which the conclusion — 
that animated nature is calculated to illustrate the all-suffi- 
ciency of the goodness of God — might be reasonably accept- 
ed ? The most obvious and general of these seems to be, that 
the tendency of animal life should decidedly preponderate iu 
favor of enjoyment. The monuments of power and skill are 
to us infinite. Had the amount of animal suffering borne any 
proportion to them, or had it been nearly balanced with ani- 
mal enjoyment, we might have hesitated as to the Benevo- 
lence of the Creator, in this particular. But the tendency to 
suffering as compared with the immensity of his w^orks, is 
quite as small as the proportion of cases in which design is un- 
discoverable is to those of acknowledged contrivance. So evi- 
dently and so designedly is the tendency of animal existence 
in favor of enjoyment, that it can only be accounted for by re- 
ferring it to Divine Benevolence. " Contrivance proves de- 
sign," says Paley,! " and the predominant tendency of the con- 
trivance indicates the dis230sition of the designer. The world 
abounds with contrivances ; and all the contrivances which we 
are acquainted with, are directed to beneficial purposes." 

' Moral Phil., p. 51. 


7. But if tins representation be correct, we may expect that 
a Benevolent Being will create as great a number of animals 
as possible, consistently with other claims, in order that tlie 
amount of enjoyment may be the greater. And, as the same 
kind of animal could only exist in one condition, and yet the 
conditions of external nature are exceedingly diversified, we 
may expect, for the same reason, that different races will be 
created for different conditions ; so that the means of happi- 
ness may be improved to the utmost. And, as the amount of 
animal life might be vastly increased, if a portion of the food 
required could be animated and happy till it is wanted as sus- 
tenance, we may expect, that, if consistent with goodness, life 
will be thus conditionally granted to it. Now all these condi- 
tions are found to be fulfilled on a most magnificent scale. 

As to the existing numbers of the animal kingdom, more 
than a thousand species of quadrupeds, five thousand species 
of birds, and as many of fishes, are now known to naturalists. 
Of reptiles, the number and variety are immense but unknown. 
" The species of shell-fish or testacea, crustaceous animals, 
worms, radiated animals, and zoophytes, which almost cover 
the bottom of the vast abyss, exceed all calculation. The 
forms of animalcules vary in almost every infusion of vegeta- 
ble or animal matter which nature presents." Nine hundred 
species of intestinal worms have already been extracted from 
the bodies of animals, and even some of these worms have 
parasites within them. And of insects, a hundred thousand 
species are known. -But the number of species affords but a 
faint idea of the incalculable myriads of individuals which 
some of them include. Vast flocks of birds sometimes darken 
the heavens like an eclipse. Clouds of life float in the atmos- 
phere. Immense tracts of the ocean are often colored by me- 
dusae, or covered as with a sheet of fire. Every drop of the 
ocean, from pole to pole, teems with existence. " These all 
wait upon thee, O God ; and thou givest them their meat in 
due season." 

Nor is any part of the surface of the globe untenanted. The 
tropical desert, and the arctic sea, the stagnant marsh, and the 
deep sands of the ocean, the mud and the rocky strata, the sub- 
terranean cavern and the eternal hills of Polar ice, not less 
than the temperate clime, and the open and undulating plain, 
are full of animal existence. The malaria fatal to one race is 
the necessary condition of life to another. Where one species 
terminates its range of enjoyment, another begins. Desola- 
tion owns not a foot of the globe. 


To Increase the amount of happiness still further, not only 
is a large proportion of the food of animals endowed with life ; 
some exist entirely on ova, and on the rapidly multiplied em- 
bryos of others, thus preventing their injurious increase ; some 
on the excreted matters of the skin ; and some, not only on, 
but in others, inhabiting the organs and secretions of tlie inte- 
rior, to the mutual advantage, probably, of both kinds. One 
of the ends of the Divine arrangement of the animal kingdom 
evidently is, the production of the largest amount of life and 

8. But if every element, region, and situation where life can 
exist is to be thus crowded with animated beings, the same 
animal conformation would be so ill adapted for many of these 
externa:! conditions that life and wretchedness would mean the 
same thing. The benevolence of the Creator, therefore, may 
be expected to find scope in adapting the animal to its condi- 
tion. Accordingly, these adaptations exist ; and so numerous, 
varied, and minute are they, as to defy description. If we 
take only the law of gravitation, w^e find that to secure them 
from the dangers of its infraction, " the goat, which browses 
on the edge of precipices, has received a hoof and legs that 
give precision and firmness to its steps ; the bird, destined to 
sleep on the branches of trees, is provided with a muscle in 
the leg and foot which makes it cling the faster the greater its 
liability to fall ; the fly, which walks and sleeps on perpen- 
dicular walls, and the ceihngs of rooms, has a hollow in its foot, 
from which it expels the air, and the pressure of the atmos- 
phere on the outside of the foot holds it fast to the object on 
which the inside is placed ; the same is true of some kinds of 
lizards ; the walrus is provided with a similar apparatus for 
climbing up the sides of icebergs ; and the broad and S}>read- 
ing hoof of the camel fits it for the loose and sandy soil of the 
torrid desert." And still more does the benevolence of this 
arrangement appear, when we remember, that each modifica- 
tion of a part of the animal requires the co-adjustment of the 
entire structure. 

BuiFon and others, indeed, have expressed commiseration 
for some species, especially for the tardigrade family, as if they 
were the victims of a defective organization, because their mo- 
tions, as compared ivith our oivn, are so remarkably slow. But 
our sensations are not the standard by which to estimate their 
condition. The rapidity of our motions Avould be death to the 
sloth. He is made for his condition ; nor does he less find se- 


ciiritj and subsistence in it, than the lion ranging the plain, or 
the eagle sweeping the horizon of a continent. 

As an illustration of the diversity of ways by which the 
Creator adjusts the habits of the animal to its external condi- 
tion, " let us imagine a noble forest tree, in whose luxuriant 
foliage the birds of the air find shelter, and whose leaves sup- 
ply food to hosts of insects. In this respect, the tree may be 
considered a world in itself, filled with different tribes of in- 
habitants, differing, not only in their aspect, but even in the 
stations or countries they inhabit, and assimilating as little to- 
gether as the inhabitants of Tartary do with those of England. 
. . . Some of the insects, as caterpillars, feed upon the leaves ; 
others upon the flowers ; a few will eat nothing but the bark ; 
w^hile many derive their nourishment from the internal sub- 
stance of the trunk. ... If we examine further, ne^v modifi- 
cations of habits are discovered. Those insects, for instance, 
which feed upon leaves, do not all feed in the same manner, 
or upon the same parts : a few devour only the bud ; others 
spin the terminal leaves together, forming them into a sort of 
hut, under cover of which they regale at leisure, upon the ten- 
derest parts ; some, apparently, even more cautious, construct 
little compact cases, which cover their body, and make them 
ai^pear like bits of stick, or the ends of broken twigs ; some 
eat the outside of the leaf only — like the caterpillars of New 
Holland, mentioned by Lewin — bore themselves holes in the 
stem, into which they carry a few leaves ; sally out during the 
night for a fresh supply, and feed upon them at their leisure 
during the day. It seems, in fact, impossible to conceive 
greater modifications than are actually met with, even among 
insects which feed only upon leaves ; while otlier variations 
are equally numerous in such tribes as live upon other por- 
tions of the tree. . . . Let us now look to those tribes of the 
feathered creation which would frequent this same tree for the 
purpose of seeking food. The woodpeckers begin by ascend- 
ing the main trunk ; they traverse in a spiral direction, and 
diligently examine the bark as they ascend ; wdierever they 
discern the least external indication of that decay produced 
by the perforating insects, they commence a vigorous attack : 
with repeated sti-okes of their powerful wedge-shaped bill, they 
soon break away the shelter of the internal destroyer, who is 
either dragged from liis hole at once, or speared by the barbed 
tongue of his powerful enemy. Next come the creepers and 
the nuthatches : they have nothing to do with the tribes of in- 


sects just mentioned ; their food is confined to the more expos- 
ed inhabitants of the bark, the crevices of which they examine 
with the same assiduity, and traverse in the same tortuous 
course, as do the woodj^eckers : the one taking what the other 
leaves. In temperate regions, like Europe, few insects are 
found on the horizontal branches of trees ; and this seems the 
true reason why we have no scansorial birds which frequent 
such situations ; but in tropical countries the case is different ; 
and we there find the whole family of cuckows exploring such 
branches, and such only. Finally, the extreme ramifications, 
never visited by any of the foregoing birds, are assigned — in 
this country at least — to the different species of titmice, whose 
diminutive size and facility of clinging are so well suited for 
such situations."! 

9. K the well-being of the animal depend on its conformity 
with the laws of its constitution, the benevolence of the Crea- 
tor would be further displayed by associating that conformity 
with sensations of pleasure. And it is so. The legitimate 
exercise of every sense is accompanied with pleasure. Ac- 
tivity itself yields gratification. But activity so operates as to 
render rest peculiarly delicious. The voluptuousness of re- 
pose again is succeeded by a desire for exertion, while every 
appetite, properly indulged, yields a measure of enjoyment. 
And thus " nature resembles the law-giver, who, to make his 
subjects obey, should prefer holding out rewards for compli- 
ance with his commands, ratiier than denounce punishments 
for disobedience." 2 

10. But as the constant activity of the vital functions is es- 
sential to life, would not the Divine benevolence be shown in 
withdrawing their operation from the contingencies of animal 
volition, and in rendering it involuntary and independent ? It 
is so. " For the continuance of life a thousand provisions are 
made. If the vital actions of an. animal's frame were directed 
by its volition, tliey are necessarily so minute and complicated, 
that they would immediately fall into confusion. It cannot 
draw a breath, without the exercise of sensibilities as well or- 
dered as those of the eye or ear. A tracing of nervous cords 
unites many organs in sympathy ; and if any one filament of 
these were broken, pain, and spasm, and suffocation, would en- 
sue. The action of its heart, and the circulation of its blood, 

* Swainson's Discourse on Nat. History, p. 175. 

' Lord Brougham's Illustrations of Palcy's Theok)<;y, vol. ii. p. 65. 


nnd all the vital functions, are governed through means and 
by laws which are not dependent on its volition, and to which 
its mental powers are "altogether inadequate. For had they 
been under the intiuence of its volition, a doubt, a moment's 
pause of irresolution, a neglect of a single action at its appoint- 
ed time, would have terminated its existence."^ 

11. Still, as neither of these arrangements will secure for 
the animal entire exemption from danger, would not Benevo- 
lence be as apparent in guarding the animal against the evil 
by a warning pain, as in rewarding its obedience hj pleasure ? 
Now, such an arrangement does exist. The senses have been 
called sentinels placed at the outposts of life, to give timely 
warning of approaching danger. Every sense has its own 
sphere of perception, ranging circle beyond circle. Every 
appetite, if denied the gratification necessary to animal well- 
being, becomes uneasy and importunate. While the skin, drawn 
over the entire surface of the body, becomes a robe of sensi- 
bility and protection to all the parts within. 

This view affords the appropriate reply to the inconsiderate 
inquiry, " why is there pain at all ? or, why is not every action 
performed at the suggestion of pleasure ? " For, not only is 
pain the necessary alternative to pleasure, but, if pleasure 
were to precede the act of obedience, as well as to attend, and 
to follow it, where would be the inducement to activity ? If 
the animal, while in danger of famishing, be happy, M^hat in- 
ducement would it have to arise and eat ? But, according to 
the existing arrangement, it is aroused to the necessary activity 
by a twofold stimulus — insipient hunger inciting it from with- 
in, and the desire of gratification in prospect. 

Besides which, it is often of the utmost importance that the 
notices of the presence of objects should be transmitted instant- 
ly to the brain ; for the slightest delay would be attended with 
serious evil, and might even lead to fatal consequences. " Could 
the windpipe and the interior of the lungs be protected by a 
pleasurable sensation, inducing a slow determination of the 
will — so well as by that rapid and powerful influence which 
the exquisite sensibility of the throat produces upon the act 
of respiration, or by those forcible yet regulated exertions 
which nothing but the instinctive apprehension of death can 
excite ? " 

* Very slightly altered, for the sake of adaptation, fr,oin Sir C. Bell's 
Bridgewater Treatise, p. 13. 


12. But while the benevolence of the Creator is thus appa- 
rent in employing pain as a safeguard against danger, most 
remarkably is it displayed in the manifold contrivances adopt- 
ed for economizing suffering. We have seen this illustrated 
in the graduated scale of sensibility, and the other alleviating 
arrangements, included in the system of prey. When death 
is the result of age, the power of feeling gradually ceases, and 
the last moments of departing life assume the tranquillity of 
approaching sleep. In the case of an injury short of death, 
the vis medicatrix is called into activity, or a power tending to 
remedy the evil. This is seen in the tear which flows to wash 
the irritating particle from the eye ; and in the new bone and 
new flesh produced to make the parts severed by accident knit 
again and heal. 

The vast majority of sensations intended to guard against 
evil, are unattended with pain. And even of those which may 
become painful if prolonged, many, at first, are merely calcu- 
lated to excite attention : such is the insipient sensation of 

The sense of danger is generally timed and proportioned 
according to the urgency of the case. Were the sensations 
always equally distressing, the animal would suffer unnecessa- 
rily ; for the great majority of its dangers are trivial. Were 
they always equally slight, the animal would soon be destroy- 
ed ; for some of its dangers require a sudden and strenuous 
effort, which it would not have a sufficient inducement to make. 
" It is provided that the more an organ is exposed, or the 
greater is its delicacy of organization, the more exquisitely 
contrived is the apparatus for its protection, and the more per- 
emptory the call for the activity of that mechanism : and as, 
in such instances, the motive to action admits of no thought 
and no hesitation, the action is more instantaneous than the 
quickest suggestion or impulse of the will."i " The velocity 
with which the nerves subservient to sensation transmit the 
impressions they receive at one extremity, along their whole 
course, to their termination in the brain, exceeds all measure- 
ment, and can be compared only to that of electricity passing 
along a conducting Avire. These nerves may, in fact, be re- 
garded as constituting a system of electric telegraphs, estab- 
lished by nature as the general medium of instantaneous trans- 

' Sir C. Bell's Bridgewater Treatise, p. 202. 


missions of sensorial agencies between all, and even the most 
distant parts of the body."^ 

Every perception of a different kind of danger has its own 
distinct sensation. This is essential, in order that the kind of 
effort to be made may answer to the nature of the evil to be 
avoided. For if the sensation arising from intense heat Avere 
the same as that occasioned by intense cold, the danger might 
be increased in the very attempt to escape from it. But by 
thus varying the sensation with the danger, an important end 
is gained in the diminution of pain ; for the same painful sen- 
sation, however trifling at first, becomes by repetition or con- 
tinuance intolerable. 

But that which strikingly illustrates the Divine benevolence 
here is, the law that each part of the body should be endowed 
with a susceptibility to pain from those impressions only which 
tend to injure its structure ; while it is comparatively insensible 
to every injury to which it is not likely to be exposed. " The 
extreme sensibility of the skin to the slightest injury, conveys 
to every one," says Sir C. Bell, " the notion that the deeper 
the wound the more severe must the pain be. This is not the 
fact; nor would it accord with the beneficent design which 
shines out everywhere. The sensibility of the skin serves not 
only to give the sense of touch, but to be a guard upon the 
deeper parts ; and they cannot be reached except through the 
skin, and pain must be suffered therefore before they can be. 
injured, it would be superfluous to bestow such sensibility upon 
these deeper parts themselves. If the internal parts, which 
act in the motions of the body, had possessed a similar degree 
and kind of sensibility with the skin, so far from serving any 
useful purpose, it would have been a source of inconvenience 
and continual pain, in the common exercise of the frame." On 
the same principle it is that the nerve of touch is insensible to 
excess of light ; the nerve of vision is insensible to touch ; and 
so are also those important organs, the brain and the heart ; 
for had they possessed such sensibility, it would have been 
useless as a protection, since no external injuries could reach 
them without a previous warning having been received through 
the sensibility of the skin. 

What, then, is the kind of sensibility with which these va- 
rious parts are endowed ? In every case it is different, for it 
is appropriate to the function of every part. The eye may be 

* Roget's Bridgewatcr Treatise, vol. ii. p. 330. 


rudely fingured without inflicting pain ; for the optic nerve is 
sensitive only to excess of light — its nerve of touch is distinct. 
The heart may be handled without feeling it ; but, as the great 
circulatory organ, it is in the closest sympathy with all the 
vital powers, and keenly alive to their slightest variations. 
The brain is as insensible to touch " as the sole of our shoe ; " 
but let it be diseased, and consciousness departs. The bones 
may be exposed and cut with impunity ; but the application 
of a force which tends to fracture them will cause exquisite 
pain. The tendons and ligaments which cover them maj' 
lie exposed, and cut, pricked, or even burned, without the 
animal suffering the slightest pain ; but let them be violently 
stretched, and the warning pain is instantly felt. Now by this 
benevolent arrangement pain is reduced to a minimum. The 
sensibility of each part varies with the function of the part ; 
is limited to the peculiar liabilities of that part ; and is occu- 
pied in its protection. 

13. But do not these facts intimate the great truth that a 
nerve is not necessarily sensible, but only by the Divine ap- 
pointment ? We have already seen that no organization, no 
mechanical hypothesis, no chemical process, will suffice to ac- 
count for life. And here we are brought to the analogous con- 
clusion, that the sensibilities of the living frame are not quali- 
ties necessarily arising from life ; that still less are they the 
consequences of delicacy of texture ; but that they are endow- 
ments appropriate to their assigned and respective offices. For 
not only have the different parts of the nervous system totally 
distinct endowments, there are nerves, as we have remarked, 
" insensible to touch and incapable of giving pain, though ex- 
quisitely alive to their proper office ;" and thus showing that, 
in each instance, that office is a special provision for a definite 
purpose — the benevolent purpose of animal enjoyment. 

"We here perceive design, because we trace adaptation. 
But we, at the same time, trace Benevolent design, because we 
perceive gratuitous and supererogatory enjoyment bestowed. 
See the care with which animals of all kinds are attended 
from their birth. The mother's instinct is not more certainly 
the means of securing and providing for her young, than her 
gratification in the act of maternal care is great, and is also 
needless for making her perform that duty. The grove is not 
made vocal during pairing and incubation, in order to secui-e 
the laying or the hatching of eggs ; for if it were still as the 
grave, or were filled with the most discordant croaking, the 


process would be as well performed. But thus it is that nature 
adds more gratification than is necessary to induce the creature 
to obey her calls." 

14. And when the complicated and minute provision neces- 
sary for this enjoyment is considered, the benevolence of the 
Creator is still further conspicuous. The mathematical struc- 
ture of the eye alone, on which the pleasures of sight depend, 
and its exquisite adaptation to the physical laws of light, might 
well fill us with astonishment at the goodness of God. But 
this is only one of numberless arrangements having the same 
kind tendency ; and when we remember that all these are parts 
of a prospective plan contemplated before the birth of the ani- 
mal ; that the foundation of the whole is laid in the germ of 
which its after life is only the development; that maternal 
care awaited its coming; that the season of its birth is adjust- 
ed to the season of the year, and to the period of the food, 
most conducive to its well-being, our conviction of the goodness 
of God is still more increased. Nor can we thoughtfully pause 
at any moment, and try to bring before our minds all the ful- 
ness of animal life the world contains, and the infinitely varied 
sounds, and motions, and signs of enjoyment which it exhibits, 
without saying with Paley, " it is a happy world after all ;" 
nor recollect that every sense, of every animal, of every herd, 
and shoal, and swarm, and flock, which throng creation, is a 
gift of Sovereign goodness — a channel in which the Divine 
benevolence may pour forth a stream of enjoyment, and be- 
hold the reflection of its image, without gratefully exclaiming, 
" How great is His goodness !" And this we conceive to be 
pre-eminently the design of the animal creation — the mani- 
festation of the Divine benevolence. 

15. But if the animal possess not the power of apprehend- 
ing the great End of its creation, it may be expected to act 
from an instinctive regard to that end which is relative to the 
great End, namely, its own happiness. And, as it can answer 
the end of its creation only by, and as long as it retains, its 
relative perfection, we may expect that a strong desire will be 
implanted in its nature, and form a part of it, to maintain its 
well-being. Accordingly, life, enjoyment, and offspring, form 
the objects of all the animal instincts. From its own kind, it 
derives higher happiness than from any other objects in crea- 
tion. In obeying the highest and most important instinct of 

Lord Brougham's Illustrations, &c. vol. ii. p. 66. 


its nature, it derives the highest pleasure. And in the posses- 
sion of offspring, the resources and enjoyments of two distinct 
beings are, in a sense, imparted to each. Even the manner 
in which, in the higher classes of animals, nutriment has been 
provided for the helpless young, evinces the kindest consider- 
tion ; for, besides that the nourishment itself is " the most 
perfect type of food in general that it is possible to give," the 
way in which it is imparted is a source of tranquil enjoyment 
both to the giver and the receiver. Indeed, the entire arrange- 
ment by which the multiplication and perpetuation of animal 
life is secured, appears to carry animal enjoyment to the high- 
est point. 

16. But does this great theatre of animal enjoyment de- 
monstrate the absolute infinity of the Divine goodness ? Our 
reply is similar to that which we have returned to the same 
question in relation to the displays of Divine power and wis- 
dom. If it were a proof of goodness, metaphysically infinite, 
all the illustrations of benevolence subsequently exhibited in 
the history of man, and which may be hereafter displayed in 
the progress of the universe, would, as further evidence, be 
superfluous or extra-infinite. Analogous remarks were made 
in the preceding Parts, relative to the power and wisdom of 
God ; and from the advanced point which we have now reach- 
ed, we can see how erroneous it w^ould have been to treat the 
proof as already completed, or to limit our views of those 
Divine perfections by the evidence then before us ; inasmuch 
as that evidence is still in process of augmentation. And in 
a similar manner, the illustrations of Goodness are constantly 
receiving fresh accessions. To which it is to be added, that 
even if the objective exercise of the Divine goodness were 
literally infinite, it would be utterly useless for all the pur- 
poses of manifestation, since its infinity would remain unknown 
to us ; except, indeed, on Divine testimony. But how should 
we know that testimony to be true, except on infinite evidence ? 
and so on, ad infinitum. If we utter any complaint at all, 
then, relative to the limitation of our knowledge of the Divine 
perfections, we should begin with the complaint that our minds 
are limited ; which would be to complain in effect, that they 
are created, and not uncreated. Even as it is, the actual il- 
lustrations of the goodness of God exceed our conceptions ; 
and yet, indefinite as they are, they go on multiplying at a 
rate which defies all human computation. 

17. The only way, then, in which an infinite proof of infinite 


goodness can be presented to finite creatures, or be received 
by them, is by a progressive accumulation through endless 
duration ; so that it must be always in the course of exhibi- 
tion. It is easy to conceive, however, of such a display of 
benevolence witliin a space and a time not unlimited, as should 
furnish free agents, capable of reasoning from analogy, wath 
ample evidence of benevolence unlimited. And such a dis- 
play of goodness we believe to have been made in the animal 
creation. Now, in attempting to show this, it is to be borne 
in mind, as a fact universally admitted, that the limitations of 
matter in relation to space, are necessitated by the nature of 
matter itself; and therefore, the limitations of the uses made 
of it also. If, then, the material medium through which bene- 
volence is to be displayed is itself inherently conditioned by 
limits, we have to determine what evidence of goodness, exhib- 
ited under such circumstances, we, as beings constituted to 
reason by inference, and from analogy, should be justified in 
deeming an adequate illustration of goodness unlimited — of 
the kind of goodness, that is, which is displayed in sentient 
enjoyment. Displays of other kinds are, hypothetically, yet 
in store. 

18. Now, ^ve can conceive of intelligences so superior to 
ourselves as to be able to recognise in the first forms of sen- 
tient life that appeared on our earth, an adequate proof of the 
unlimited goodness of the Creator. Their view of cause and 
effect might be such as to enable them to say definitively, and 
at once, " the Being that could originate these forms of happi- 
ness, must be distinguished by infinite goodness." For, be it 
remembered, that the full understanding of these primitive 
forms would include also the full understanding of the inor- 
ganic and vegetable worlds ; and would evince that the pro 
duction of these sentient beings had always been in the con- 
templation of the creative mind. But these primeval creatures 
were actually accompanied or followed by a world of animal 
existences. True, those early creations were not probably so 
diversified in their species as the later creations ; but geology 
shows that, at a very early period, the sea-covered earth swarm- 
ed with individual life. It would have been useless for man, 
had he then lived, to attempt the individual enumerations of 
beings contained in even a section of " the great and wide 
sea ;" and yet every being was a distinct argument for the 
goodness of the Creator, since every one of them all was com- 
prehended in his Divine plan. Now surely a human spectu- 

SEKTiKNT existi:nci-:. 2^9 

tor of tliat scene could not liave expended years and ages in 
the contemplation of animal enjoyment, especially as viewed 
in connection with the complicated provision made for it from 
the beginning, and with the endlessly diversified manner in 
which all nature ministered to it, without receiving an over- 
whelming impression of Creative benevolence. Long before 
he could have fully estimated the proofs of benevolence teem- 
ing around him, a new creation would dawn, and a new world 
of animate wonders come into view ; and as he gradually dis- 
covered that phenomena -which at first appeared at variance 
with goodness, only required to be understood in order to be- 
come remarkable illustrations of it ; that v^^here a liability (o 
l)ain existed, the most refined and complicated means are re- 
sorted to for reducing it to the smallest amount possible, or ibi- 
p;roviding against it altogether ; and that even the system of 
prey is resolvable into the greatest amount of animal enjoy- 
ment compatible with the existing plan of creation, he could 
not but feel that the benevolence to which all this was owing, 
must be literally past finding out. Let him revisit the earth 
in imagination time after time, with intervals of ages betv/een 
each visit : sui-ely he could not remark that every change of 
external condition was associated with a corresponding change 
in animal organization ; that these changes were diversified to 
a degree designed apparently to impress him with their inex- 
haustibleness ; that the systems of life and enjoyment were 
ever on the increase, and that the analogy of every part with 
idl the rest showed the wiiole to be in accordance with a plan 
Avhich must have ever existed in the Divine mind, without 
being impelled to the conclusion that for such displays of 
goodness to an indefinite extent, God is all-sufficient. And, 
beyond this, he should remark that the amount of actual life 
exhibited at any given time on the earth, is as nothing com- 
pared with the amount of potential life and happiness which it 
contains. The vegetable seeds germinating at this moment 
on the surface of the earth, are, probably, insignificant com- 
pared with the number concealed below to an unknown depth ; 
and who shall calculate tlie superficial extent of the world, or 
Vv'orlds, which those seeds v/ould be sufficient speedily to clothe 
with verdure? And so also of the ova of some animal spe- 
cies, such as the carp, the cod, or the fiounder, in an individual 
of which more than a million have been counted, — who shall 
say the number of Atlantics which either of these species 
would fill in the course of a thousand years, if all their ova 


were allowed to be developed ; or how many atmospheres, of 
the same extent as that of our planet, would, in the same time, 
become crowded and darkened, hy the unchecked multiplica- 
tion of so minute a thing as a fly ? Nov/ he could not survey 
the recovered fossil species of former worlds, remembering 
that all traces of many species have probably vanished ; and 
then glance at the five hundred thousand species now living, 
remembering that the actual multiplication of some of them, 
prodigious as it is, is as nothing compared with their possible 
increase ; and that this has been always true from the begin- 
ning, without yielding to the full impression, that, subjective- 
ly, the Creative goodness can knov/ no limitation ; and that, 
objectively, He is all-sufficient for replenishing alike a single 
planet, or ten thousand worlds, with sentient happiness, and 
ibr sustaining the whole for an age, or for ever. This v.e 
believe to be the impression which a world of sentient enjoy- 
ment was intended to produce on the mind of man. That it 
is adapted to produce this very effect is evident, for it actually 
produces it. And the very manner in wliich this end is at- 
tained — the mental effort which it demands, and the apparent 
moral difficulties v>diicli it involves — still farther evinces the 
far-reaching purpose of the Creator, in making it the means 
of man's intellectual and moral education. But man, " the 
interpreter of nature," is yet to come. 

10. Now, suppose a being capable of appreciating the suc- 
cessive stages of creation as we have endeavored to describe 
it, to have taken a survey of the whole on the eve of that 
great revolution which gave occasion to the Adamic creation, 
what an enlarged view must it have afforded him of the power, 
and wisdom, and g.)odness of God ! Could he have cast bacls. 
a mental glance to the remote antiquity when the first creiitive 
fiat went forth, and then have called before his mind all the 
long series of creation on creation with extended intervals be- 
tween, which had since then taken place, — could he have 
remembered how many vegetable kingdoms had succc>-ively 
existed and perished, only to be followed by others better 
adapted to the altered globe ; and how every such change had 
been followed by a corresponding adaptation in all the indefi- 
nite varieties of animal life, so that tlie earth had been ke})t 
" full of His goodness," without feeling, with a depth of coa- 
viciioa no language can express, and long b-jibre he had ar- 


rived at the close of his retrospection, the all-sufficiency of 
God for the indefinite enlargement and continuance of similar 
manifestations ! He would have seen that, here, every object 
and event formed at least a letter in the great name of God — 
a symbol of the Divine perfections. Even if the creative 
process had been arrested at this point, never to be resumed, 
he would yet have felt that he was worshipping in a temple 
dedicated to " the eternal power and Godhead ;" for the she- 
kinah of the Divine presence was everywhere visible. But 
that temple had ever been enlarging and receiving fresh me- 
morials of the Deity ; and long before he had deciphered every 
symbol, and bowed at every altar sacred to these perfections, 
he would have felt prepared for the unveiling of another aspect 
of the Divine character. 

20. Could he then have had disclosed to him the nature of 
man's constitution, — physical, mental, and moral, — the crea- 
tion would forthwith have seemed to assume a new character. 
He would have seen that man was not to be made for the 
world, but that the world from the first had been made for 
man ; that all its laws were mute predictions of what he would 
be; that all nature was pre-configured to him, and looked 
forwards to his coming. The earth, then, he might have said, 
is to be a school for the education of the humcin being. What 
a severe and useful discipline will it be for him, if left to his 
own unaided efforts, to determine the point from which his 
physical studies should start, the method they should observe, 
and the direction they should take. When the time shall 
come for him to try to ascertain the position of his planet in 
the system to which it belongs, and the disposition of the parts 
of that system, what prolonged and improving efforts is it like- 
ly to call forth ? for he will see it " not in plan but in section ;" 
his point of observation will lie in the general plane of the 
system, while the notion he will aim to form of it will be, not 
that of its section, but of its plan ; as if he should attempt to 
make out the countries on a map, with his eye on a level with 
the map.i Even the size and physical geography of the planet 
itself are relative to the powers of the being destined to oc- 
cupy it ; for, while it is not so diminutive and unvaried as to 
promise no reward to curiosity and effort, neither is it so vast 
and unmanageable as to depress and forbid them. For him, 
the Creator has " weighed the mountains in scales and the 

» Sh- J. Herschcl's Nat. Phil., p. 2G7. 


hills in a balance." Here, objects are so formed as to call 
liim to activity, and to give him lessons in self-government ; 
and secrets so hid in the depths of nature as to invite his dis- 
covery, and to correct his pre-judgments ; and events so inti- 
mately and universally related, as to reveal to his attentive 
eye the fact, that all nature is united in a close net-work of 
mutual connections and dependence. Here, advancing from 
the domain of facts, he will ascend to the region of laAvs. His 
discovery and generahzation of these will constitute his natu- 
ral science, his practical application of them will be his art and 
occupation. From this commanding point, all creation will 
assume the appearance of order, and be seen under law. And 
every onward step in this direction will bring him, by a path 
increasingly luminous, nearer to the throne of the Eternal, in 
whose hand all laws will be seen to meet. 

21. The being who is supposed to be intelligently antici- 
pating the creation of man, would foresee that the earth was 
designed also to be a temple for worsJiip. Here — he might 
have said farther — wherever man may look, he willfind himself 
surrounded by the symbols of the Godhead. Every object on 
wliich his eye will rest, is either an " altar of memorial," or an 
offering to be laid on it. Even the earth itself, as it goes 
speeding through space, what should it be but an altar, a* 
which he should be perpetually ministering, as the high-priesi 
of nature ? 

Here, if he ask for proofs of the power, and wisdom, and 
goodness of God, he may ascend, by higher and higher gene- 
ralizations, from phenomenal causes to the Great First Cause 
Himself; and from the contemplation of the uninterrupted 
order, the symmetry of relations, and the harmonious combi- 
nation of laws observable throughout organic nature, to the 
conviction of universal design in the Creating Cause ; and 
from the perception that all this exercise of wisdom is directed 
to the multiplication and happiness of a world of sentient life, 
to the conclusion that the Creator is as benevolent as He is 
powei-ful and wise. 

But geology will give a range to his views of the Divine 
all-sufficiency beyond all admeasurement ; it will admit him to 
a succession of departed worlds, stored with the monuments of 
the Creator's inexhaustible resources. Plunge as far back as 
he may into tlie past, lie will still find himself in the province 
of the same Creator, and surrounded by evidences that " He 
seeth the end from the beirinnins:." 

SENTIENT exts'.:knce. 263 

But wliat impressive views of the same peiiections will 
open on him when he shall come to perceive, that ail the long 
series of creations by which the globe is adapted to become 
his habitation, has distinctly contemplated his own well-being ? 
Were his advent among the creatnres to be that of a distin- 
guished being from some paradise above, means for develop- 
ing his hidden powers, the exquisite adjustment of things to 
strike him with the kind forethought of the Being who had 
sent him here, provision for his health, and comfort,'and entire 
well-being during his stay, could hardly have been made more 
obvious and abundant than they actually are. Of all the spe- 
cies of animated beings that have inhabited the earth, he will 
be the first to look upon nature with an intelligent eye. Till 
he comes, this glorious volume of the Creator will remain un 
read ; and not only will he be able to interpret natui-e, it will 
be his prerogative to employ it for his improvement. Tlie only 
use which the brute creation unconsciously make of it, is that 
of sustaining and perpetuating their kind. He will employ it 
also for the same purpose, but this very employment of it may 
be of a nature to call forth the exercise of his reason, and to 
tend to his intellectual progress. So that even in that one 
solitary respect, in which he and the animals will appear to be 
placed on a level, he will be able in reality to assert his essen- 
tial superiority over them ; and from it he may date his actual 
rise above them. They only use and only need some of the 
present products of the earth. Man may employ the products 
of every departed world. In his hands the 'extremes of geo- 
logical duration may meet. The granite of ten thousand ages 
back may be made the foundation of his dwelling, or the pe- 
destal of his image. The mountain hmestone — petrified exu- 
viae of departed worlds — may serve to cement and beautify 
his abode. The wreck of the forests, that for ages waved on 
the surface of the ancient lands, and the ferruginous accumu- 
lations deposited in primeval waters may supply him with the 
principal means of his material progress and comfort. From 
the rich metallic veins which interlace the earth, he may de-^ 
rive the means of his choicest ornaments, the representatives 
of all his material wealth, and knowledge " more precious than 
rubies." Every flood which swept over the ancient continents, 
and every dislocating earthquake, which contributed to the 
formation of cultivable soils, may re-appear in man's science, 
and be converted to his purposes. The loadstone, in his hands, 
may become%n instrument by which to call the stars to his 


aid, and to bid defiance to the apparent boundlessness of the 
ocean, while, in quest of scope for his enterprise, he steers to 
a distant region of the globe. The subterranean treasuries of 
the earth contain nothing Avhich he will not be able to use ; 
and who shall say but that the time may come in his history 
when its stores will prove to have been not unnecessarily 
great ? Surely the creature who will point to little artificial 
contrivances of his own in proof of his sagacity and skill, will 
not fail to recognize in these vast prospective arrangements 
for his coming, convincing indications of a beneficent superin- 
tending mind ! And surely as time advances, and new and 
more profound adaptations of nature rise to view, as man 
comes to find that his race have been living for ages in the 
midst of complicated adaptations of which they were uncon- 
scious, and which could be developed only as the result of a 
long series of prior discoveries, but all tending to his develop- 
ment and well-being, his recognition of the Creative wisdom 
and goodness will become more vivid and grateful, and the 
earth become more sacred in his eyes ! 

Probably, too — the supposed soliloquist might have con- 
tinued — probably, as preceding changes of the earth have 
been followed by new and enlarged creations of animal life, 
the period of man's creation may be marked by some new pro- 
ductions of the Divine power, designed to contribute yet fur- 
ther to human w^elfare. But, whether it should be so or not, 
the earth, even as it is, appears to be so replete with prepa- 
rations for his coming, that He alone could perceive any defi- 
ciency, whose unlimited power is able to supply it. It is only 
in such a world that a creature like man could live, and his 
character be developed. Here, every part of his nature will 
find its appropriate domain. The phenomena of geology alone 
— what lessons wdll they read to his intellectual and moral na- 
ture ? Can he recognise in the series of organic worlds, dis- 
tinct evidence of a succession of creations, without feeling as 
if he were reading so many proclamations of the Divine power 
laid up for his perusal ? feeling it with a vividness wdiich could 
hardly be increased even if he could reach the foundation of 
the earth and there find the inscription, " Laid by the Divine 
Hand, to be discovered and deciphered by man unnumbered 
ages hence." When he shall perceive that these successive 
creations are only the gradual filling up of a vast and harmo- 
nious outline, will he not be penetrated wdth wonder at the 
comprehensiveness of the Divine plans, and the unchangeable- 


tiess of the Divine nature ? Can he ever attempt a computa- 
tion of the enormous periods which must have elapsed since 
Hfe first moved on the globe, without being carried back in 
imagination to a past eternity ; and without thinking, by the 
mere rebound of the mind, of an eternity yet to come ? And, 
then, will it be possible for him to mark how all the stu- 
pendous miracles of the past have conspired to prepare the 
earth to receive him, without feeling that the adaptation must 
have been contemplated from the first, and without surrender- 
ing himself up to the emotions of adoration and joy ? 

And shall these geological records of the past furnish him 
with no ground of conclusion, or of rational conjecture, re- 
specting the future ? He will be able to point to an era when 
his race had not yet begun to exist. An age after, and man 
had been called into being, and had entered on his career. 
Every one of his posterity, therefore, traced back to his origin 
through the preceding generations of mankind, will carry about 
in his own person indubitable evidence of a miracle. And 
may he not justly reason that, unless the Supreme Power can 
be supposed to have exhausted itself in his own creation, the 
energy which could perform the long succession of stupendous 
miracles of which the production of the first man was the 
crowning act, must be capable of performing other miraculous 
acts ? And unless he should suppose that he himself has been 
created without any object, or that God has excluded Himself 
from his own world, and has bound Himself in the iron chain 
of an everlasting mechanism, will it not be natural for him to 
infer that the object for which the miracle of his own creation 
was wrought may subsequently require the performance of 
other miracles in harmony with the primary one, and leading 
to the same result ? And unless it could be shown that no be- 
neficent provision whatever had been originally made for hu- 
man happiness, the existence of such provision will surely 
warrant the conclusion that, if ever circumstances should arise 
in which it would be more for the well-being of man to modify 
or to enlarge that provision than not to do so, it would — all 
other things being equal — be worthy of Divine Goodness so to 
modify or enlarge it. And will not the persuasion that he 
stands in the midst of a system yet in progress — a system, 
therefore, from which God is never absent — tend to invest 
the earth with the hallowed character of a temple, and to con- 
vert his every inquiry respecting the past and the future into 
an act of worship ? 



22. But what if this same being who had been given to 
understand that the earth would be a school for man's educa- 
tion, and- a temple for his worship, had been foretold also that 
it would be the sphere of human probation ; that even its natu- 
ral scenery and productions would, in a sense, be conveyed into 
the mind of man, and be taken up into his character ; that 
every object and event in nature would, in a variety of ways, 
be wrought into the texture of man's moral history ; and that 
every law expressed, and every truth symbolized, in nature, 
would sooner or later become a test of character, what a field 
for solemn conjecture would have been opened before him? 
Perversions of these truths which have become familiar to us, 
would doubtless have appeared to him so gross as to be next 
to impossible. Whatever errors man may imbibe, we may 
suppose him to have said — it is not to be imagined that he 
will ever so far discredit his reason as to mistake those created 
exponents of certain attributes of the Divine Nature for that 
Infinite Nature itself ; converting the intended means of wor- 
ship into objects of adoration. Man's moral freedom, if nothing 
else, seems to require that the period of the earth's origin should 
be hid in a dateless antiquity ; but surely he will not therefore 
irrationally jump to the conclusion that it is eternal and uncre- 
ated. For the same reason, it would seem to be necessary that 
the successive stages of the creative process should not be so 
obtrusively marked and palpable as to compel the judgment to 
the right conclusion; but can it be that all other evidence 
except that of visible creative interference shall go for nothing 
with a being meant to reason ; or that advantage will ever be 
taken of the absence of mere visible evidence, to affirm the 
non-existence of an invisible Agent ? Whatever may be meant 
by the uniformity of the course of nature, it is evident that it 
must be something compatible with a succession of changes in 
which new races have been brought into being, differing from 
all previous existences. Contrary, therefore, as such a crea- 
tive change may be to the course of nature for a certain period, 
evidently, it is by no means contrary to the great scheme to 
which that limited period belongs. And confidently as the 
permanence of nature may be relied on during a given period, 
with equal confidence may a change be looked for, sooner or 
later, to put an end to that period. The changes may be as 
regular on a large scale of things, as is the intervening uni- 
formity on a smaller scale. Both are only parts of a great 
whole. It cannot be that man, who will actually owe his ex- 


istence to one of these miraculous changes, should ever come 
to question their possibility ; that, arguing from his own uni- 
form experience of a few»ages, he should feel himself warranted 
to pronounce against such changes during the vast preceding 
cycles compared with which his ages will be as moments ; and 
that he should do this in the face of all the successive worlds 
of geological evidence to the contrary. The Divine Creator is 
the " God of order ;" regularity is the natural characteristic of 
His procedure ; without it, man will not be able to arrive at 
any knowledge respecting Him : and can it be that man will 
take occasion from the very order of nature to " explode the 
idea of a God ?" shall those sequences, without which he will 
not be able to infer the Creative Existence, be the very reason 
why ijp denies it ? shall the very laws whose existence are 
essential in order that he may understand anything of the Law- 
giver, become, in his hands, weapons for dethroning Him ? 

If it shall appear from the event that one of the great rea- 
sons of the Creator for adopting the actual method of creation, 
was that it might be preconfigured to man's intelligent, volun- 
tary, and moral nature, can it be that any human creature will 
ever come to construe the infinitely complicated coincidence of 
the two into a proof of its accidental origin — as if the proof of 
design diminished in proportion as the evidence increased. If 
man's free-agency is not to be overborne by the visible display 
of immediate Divine operation ; if the evidence of creative 
agency is to be enough to convince, but not so much as to over- 
whelm, the attainment of this balance will involve relations and 
adjustments of infinitely diversified complication, and will form, 
in truth, the grand sphere for the exercise of creative wisdom 
and goodness ; surely no human being will ever employ this 
freedom in questioning the existence of the agency which 
alone makes it possible ! Without it, there would be no rea- 
soning — no man ; with it, shall there be, for him, no God ? 

If the ultimate end both of the creative method and of its 
reason in respect to man, be the unfolding of the Divine all- 
sufficiency, can it be that he will ever derive two directly oppo- 
site conclusions from the same creative displays ? that he will 
at one time contend, that as his inferences can only go to the 
extent of his evidence, his views of the Divine perfections, 
derived from natural theology, are necessarily limited ; and, at 
another, that the Being who could originate the universe must 
be too exalted to interest himself in any of its mere details ? 
Is it possible that, on a survey of creation, one man should 


withhold from the Creator the homage involved in the recogni- 
tion of His infinity ; and that another, on the ground of His 
infinite greatness, should " compliment Him out- of this world 
as a place too mean for His reception," and excuse Him from 
its government, as a care and an incumbrance unsuited to His 
dignity ; and from its worship, as a thing beneath His regard ? 
Thoughts such as these — had there been a being to enter- 
tain them — might well have projected a deep shadow over 
the earth as the scene of man's approaching probation. But 
may we not suppose that the gloom would have been relieved 
and brightened by anticipations of a very opposite tendency ? 
Here, the imaginary seer might have said, as he recalled the 
past and glanced over the present — here is a great system of 
argumentative appeals, for the infinite power, and wis(kp, and 
goodness of God, appeals which predict a constitution ntted to 
receive and respond to them. More than one part of that con- 
stitution will be constructed to respond. Often, the response 
will be so sudden as to anticipate the slow conclusions of the 
reasoning process ; so clear and distinct as to be heard by the 
most unwilling ear ; and so authoritative and impressive as to 
be remembered and felt long after every opposing voice has 
ceased. Rightly considered, creation will be regarded as a 
hynm of praise to its Maker ; and man will aspire to lead the 
song. While from the depths of the earth — from the wreck 
of former worlds — he will derive materials with which to erect 
an altar of gratitude to Him who " reneweth the face of the 
earth.'* And what even if man's moral relations to the Deity 
should be disturbed, and his condition should consequently 
become such as to require information which it is not in the 
power of nature to impart ; even then — though some of his 
race, alas ! owing partly to the very scantiness of their natural 
knowledge of God, and in proportion to it, may blindly profess 
to be satisfied and to desire no more, — yet the natural theol- 
ogy of others will, in proportion to its extent and fulness, tend 
to awaken a thirst for a higher and more enlarged revelation 
of the Divine character, and prepare them to expect it. Insuf- 
ficient as the knowledge of God derivable from nature may be 
as a sanctuary for conscious guilt, it may yet serve as the sub- 
structions and steps of another temple, from the sacred reces- 
ses of which may be caused to issue the oracles of Holiness, 
Mercy, and Love. And as the vastness of the Divine re- 
sources displayed in nature, joined with the consideration that, 
indefinite as they must be to man, they are after all finite to 


God, is the reflection which, more than any other, will impress 
him with the all-sufficiency of God in creation, so it may in- 
spire him with the hope of the Divine all-scfficiency for his 
moral recovery, and be even employed by God to image that 
sufficiency forth. 

23. A being placed, and informed Tespecting the past and 
the future, as we have supposed, could not have recognized the 
signs of approaching change — if such signs there were — 
symptoms of the impending revolution of a portion, at least, of 
the earth's surface ; and then have recalled before his mind the 
succession of new creations, which had followed from like revo- 
lutions before, without rising to adoration, and saying, in effisct, 
** Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth ; and the 
heavens are the work of thy hands ; they shall perish, but thou 
remainest ; yea, they all shall wax old like a garment ; as a 
vesture shalt thou roll them up, and they shall be changed : 
but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end." And 
as he stood on the verge of the crisis, with the ominous shadows 
of the last evening settled around him, and all nature hushed 
in portentous silence, he could not picture to his mind the pos- 
sibilities involved in the impending stage of the Divine pro- 
cedure, without being conscious of an earnest desire to behold 
the creature, man, and the wondrous scenes which would sig- 
nalize his eventful history. 



Note A, p. 13. 

I HAVE been humbled at finding tbe view advocated in the 
text, spoken of by some — teachers of theology too — as an im- 
peachment of the Divine disinterestedness ; or, in other words, 
as- an imputation of Divine selfishness. This misrepresentation 
might arise either from a jealousy of the Divine Greatness, or 
from a mistaken jealousy for it, accompanied with an indolent 
misconception of the subject. In the first of these instances, it 
is human self-importance entering into competition with Infinite 
Greatness and laboring to dethrone it, only that it might occupy 
the vacated seat. 

In the second the objector appears to argue in oblivion of all 
the facts appropriate to the subject, and under the anthropomor- 
phising impression that God " is altogether such an one as himself" 
First, he forgets that no objection can be alleged against the 
view that God will be his own end in the eternity to come, which 
does not equally lie against the view that He was his own end in 
the eternity past ; and yet no one can raise a question on this 
point, for during the past eternity He alone existed. Secondly, 
the objector forgets that the view must be true in some hifi^h and 
substantial sense, for the doctrine that " of Him, and throu"-h 
Him, and to Him, are all things," runs through the Bible like a 
line of light. Thirdly, the selfishness which the view is supposed 
to impute or imply is purely anthropopathic, or arises from a 
mental transference to the infinitely blessed God of human pas- 
sions, and, as such, it can have no place with God ; for selfishness 
implies the appropriation of happiness, or of the means of happi- 
ness, belonging to others, whereas, in the present unique instance, 
the idea of appropriation can have no place, since al! that man 
enjoys is of Divine impartation. Fourthly, the only alternative 

272 NOTES. 

to God being the chief end of creation is, that man be that end. 
But the only reason which could be assigned for this view is (not 
that it is rights as in the case of one human being benefiting an- 
other, but) that it appears to some to be more loorthy of God; 
which is only saying, in other words, that that must be the end of 
creation which is most worthy of God, and most glorious to' him — 
thus, in reality, affirming the doctrine in the very act of denying 
it. And, fifthly, the happiness of the creature requires that the 
manifestation of the Divine All-sufficiency be the chief end of 
creation. Surely, it could not conduce to the happiness of an 
intelligent creature to believe that the Infinite existed for the 
finite, and was subordinated to it. On the contrary, the blessed- 
ness of holy beings must^^consist mainly in their conscious and 
chosen dependence on infinite excellence; in the ever-present 
idea of its infinity contrasted with their limitation, leaving room 
for progress unending. Further, I might proceed to remind the 
objector that if it is thought no impeachment of any Divine per- 
fection to believe (as he himself probably believes) that animal 
enjoyment, though an end of the animal kingdom, was not the 
highest end contemplated by the animal creation ; that the man- 
ner in which it has contributed to the enjoyment, education, and 
well-being of the human race, is a yet higher end ; so man's crea- 
tion may, consistently with the same Perfection, point to an end 
beyond itself; and what end can that be, but the only one which 
is infinite ? I can hardly bring myself to confess that, in more 
than one instance, I have actually met with an objection to the 
view I am now advocating, which amounted to this, " we do not 
object to the fact that the highest end of creation should be the 
manifestation of the Divine excellence ; perhaps this is right ; 
perhaps it is even unavoidable, and arises necessarily from the 
very nature of things ; we only demur to the idea of the Divine 
Being designing it!" Evidently, their conception of the Majesty 
of heaven is that of a great human being; of one who, (to adopt 
the sentiment of the poet,) having " done good by stealth," is ex- 
pected to " blush when he finds it fame !" He must not accept 
the homage of heaven as his right, but as praise unexpected and 
undeserved. He, not the adoring seraphim, must veil. Their 
heau-ideal of Perfection omits prescience ; for how otherwise could 
the Creator fail to foresee the results of his own creation ; and, 
foreseeing, how could He do otherwise than accept, adopt, or design 
them ? But to do this is, in their eyes, to sacrifice the proprie- 
ties ! ! " righteous Father, the world hath not known thee ! " 

NOTES. 273 

Note B, p. 75. 

" In the beginning God created tlie heavens and the earth. 
Now the earth was without form and waste, and darkness was 
upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon 
the face of the waters." — Genesis i. 1, 2. 

From a careful consideration of the subject, it is the full con- 
viction of the writer, that the first of the two verses just quoted 
•was placed by the hand of Inspiration at the opening of the Bible 
as a distinct and independent sentence ; that it was the Divine 
intention to affirm by it, that the material universe was primarily 
originated by God from elements not previously existing ; and 
that this originating act was quite distinct from the acts included 
in the six natural days of the Adamic creation.^ It should be 
observed that this interpretation by no means implies that Moses 
himself put this construction on the sentence, or intended to con- 
vey this meaning, He might ; or he might not. He was only 
the organ for its transmission. But it is a well-known canon of 
Scripture interpretation, that the statements of the word of God 
are to be understood, not merely in that sense in which they were 
apprehended by the human instruments employed to make them, 
nor in that sense to which their hearers or readers at the time 
could reach, but in the sense which He himself attached to them. 
For example, there is ground to believe that Moses himself was 
not aware of the profound spiritual meaning of much of the ritual 
which he was employed to institute. It was an obscure text, 
which awaited the Divine commentary of the Christian dispen- 

Nor is it meant to be implied by this interpretation that the 
Bible was designed to teach astronomy, geology, or any other 
branch of natural science. When we are enlarging on the histor- 
ical parts of Scripture, for instance, no one infers that we mean 
to affirm that the Bible was designed to teach either the mere 
facts, or the philosophy, of history. Its object, in such parts, is 
to teach the doctrine of God's government of the world ; and all 
that we are supposed to mean is, that the events related in proof 
or illustration of the doctrine, were matters of fact ^ actual occur- 
rences^ divinely attested. So here ; the obvious purpose of the 
inspired writer is to teach the great truth that God is the Creator 
of all things ; and all that the nature of the case requires — and 

* See Dr. J. P. Smith's admirable work on Scripture (Jcology. 
Lecture VI. Part II., and Notes P. Q. Second Edition. 

274 NOTES. 

this it does seem to require — is, that, however anthopomorphic 
and popular the language employed may be, the events related in 
illustration of the truth should be actual occurrences. But being 
such, it follows that they will be found in harmony with the facts 
of science. The view just propounded, and which appears to the 
writer to be the only just construction of the verse in question, 
involves the following three propositions; that, by "the heavens 
and the earth," are here to be understood the material universe ; 
that the original act of creation was the calling of the material of 
the universe into existence ; and that this act was not included 
in the six days of the Adamic creation. 

The first of the propositions — that by " the heavens and the 
earth," are here to be understood the material universe — hardly 
admits of a question. Even if the phrase, " the heavens and the 
earth," does not include more than the material universe — (name- 
ly, dependent sentient and intelligent beings also) — it cannot be 
regarded as denoting less. In proof of which, if proof be neces- 
sary, it may be alleged, that the material universe is the subject 
immediately taken up in the verses following ; that the phrase in 
question became a Hebrew formula for expressing the material 
universe, a formula most likely adopted from this opening verse ; 
and that such appear to be the inspired exposition of the phrase 

— as in Psalms cii. 25, " Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid 
the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of 
thy hands." 

The second proposition — that the original act of creation was 
the calling of matter into existence — though not, at first sight 
equally obvious, appears, on examination, to be equally certain. 
There are those, indeed, who, while they firmly believe that mat- 
ter is not eternal, refuse to admit that this verse afiirms its origi- 
nation. Their persuasion is, that the verse takes us back only 
to the beginning of the Adamic creation, and affirms that God 
was the immediate former of the present state of things ; and 
that the verses following unfold the process of the formation. 
And the chief reason which they assign for this view is, that hara 

— created, according to the usus loquendi, signifies, not to call a 
thing out of non-existence, but to re-constitute something already 
in existence ; and is used indifferently and interchangeably in 
G^any passages with asah — made, and yatsar — formed or fashion- 
ed ; and that there does not appear to be any word in any lan- 
guage which expresses the idea of creation independently of pre- 
3xisting matter. 

In reply, I would submit that this objection, even if it could 

NOTfis. 275 

be substantiated, does not meet the requirements of tlie case ; and 
that the only appropriate evidence is that which is derivable from 
the interpretations of the phrase, and of the subject, as found in 
other parts of Scripture. For, first, from the very nature of the 
subject, the u.^iis loquendi never can obtain in relation to any 
word employed to express creation out of nothing. And the ap- 
parent singularity of the fact might have well awakened inquiry 
how it is that, while every language has the idea, no language has 
a term exclusioeli/ employed to express it, but adopts a phrase 
instead.' The obvious reason is, that even if a term — bara, for 
example — had been at first devised and employed to express the 
Divine origination of matter, man, according to a well-known and 
universal tendency, would soon have adopted it as the most em- 
phatic mode of expressing his own secondary origination, or mere 
formation, of things. And then as, in its primary signification, 
it could only, in the nature of things, be applied to a single act 
of the Divine Being, while in its secondary sense it could be 
applied to all kinds of human origination of all kinds of things, 
the usus loquendi would speedily place the secondary meaning 
first. Let it be imagined that a new term were to be now devised 
to express the idea in question — let it be the term earnihilate — 
and immediately man would adopt it to express his own produc- 
tion of things, just as he now speaks of annihilating them; though 
he can do either only in a secondary sense. And as, in this sec 
ondary sense, he would be daily, exnihilating, while the term, in 
its primary signification, could be predicated only of the one ori- 
ginating act of the Divine Being, of course the iisus loquendi 
would immediately obtain in favor of the secondary sense. Now, 
admitting the term bara to have meant, when employed in the 
first verse of Genesis, the actual creation of matter, its secondary 
application would soon have acquired, in this manner, the sanc- 

^ When Dr. Pusey, Professor of Hebrew at Oxford, states, (Buckland's 
Bridgewater Treatise, note, p. 22,) that "our very addition of the words 
' out of nothing,' shows that the Avord creation has not, in itself," the force 
of absolute origination, he appears to overlook the only point in the discus- 
sion worth remembering, namely, that .this additional phrase is properly 
employed only when something is supposed already to exist, out of which 
the thing made might possibly be produced. On the other hand, when 
speaking of the origination of primordial elements^ no one could say that 
they were created out of nothing without tautology ; for this would be to 
state formally that the first has no antecedent, or that tlie tirst is not sec- 
ond. So that the word creation, when predicated of i>rimovdial matter — 
and this is the precise thing in question — does possess, without any ad- 
ditional words, the force of absolute origination. 

276 NOTES. 

tion of cnstom ; and then, as inspired language did not differ from 
ordinary language, the term would subsequently come to be used, 
in Scripture, interchangeably with asah — made and yatsar — 
formed. Our only resource, therefore, is to ascertain the scrip- 
tural interpretation of the term in those passages in which the 
first verse of Genesis was present to the mind of the inspired 
writers. Or if, secondly, the verb hara was taken by inspiration 
from a prior and familiar application to a human process, and was 
employed metaphorically to denote a Divine act of an analogous 
but unique description, then also, as the thought would govern 
the word, and not the word the thought, we should have to look 
for that thought in other parts of the inspired volume. 

Now, that the first verse of Genesis is to be regarded as an- 
nouncing the proper creation of the matter of the visible universe, 
is apparent from the following passages : — 

1. A comparison of the second and following verses in Gen. i. 
with the first verse, justifies the conclusion that the act denoted 
by hara in the first verse must have been essentially different from 
mere formation out of materials already existing ; for after that 
first act had been performed, the earth still remained in a form- 
less chaotic state. On this point, I avail myself of the critical judg- 
ment of Professor M. Stuart of America ; and I do so the more 
readily, because he is avowedly an anti-geologist, and is therefore 
free from all suspicion of a bias from that quarter, " All order 
and arrangement plainly seem to be considered, by the writer of 
Gen. i. as having been effected after the original act of creation. 

* * * The original act of creation, as understood by the sacred 
writers, appears plainly to have been, the calling of matter into 
being, the causing of it to exist ; and out of this the heavens and 
the earth were afterwards formed, i. e., reduced to their present 
order and arrangement."' 

2. In the opening verses of St. John's Gospel we read, " In the 
beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the 
Logos was God. * * * All things were made by him." Here, it 
is evident that the design of the sacred writer is to affirm that, 
before anything existed ad extra, the Logos existed ; for his object 
is to prove that everything was brought into existence by the 
Logos. If Scripture, then, is to be its own interpreter, we must 
infer that the phrase, in the beginning, as employed in the book of 
Genesis, takes us back to the same period. And this conclusion 
becomes inevitable when we observe that, in using this phrase, 

1 Hebrew Chrcstomathy, p. 112. 

NOTES. 277 

the Gospel designedly, and for obvious reasons, imitates the his- 
tory. If the Mosaic use of the phrase, therefore, does not take 
us back to a period prior to the. origination of matter, it cannot 
be justly inferred that the apostolic sense of the phrase does ; but 
that the " all things made by him," excepts matter, i. e., that 
matter was not made by him, and that he did not exist before it. 

8. In harmony with the view for which we are contending, 
and apparently conclusive of it, is Heb. xi. 3, " By faith we 
understand that the worlds were formed by the word of God, so 
that the things which are seen, were not made from those which 
do appear." It cannot be justly questioned that the Divine de- 
claration, by faith in which we attain to this conviction, is that 
contained in Gen. i. 1, for the apostle next refers to Gen. iv. 4, 
and next to Gen. v. 24 ; and so on, in orderly succession. Now, 
the apostolic exposition of that declaration is, " that the worlds 
were formed by the word of God" — by the commanding word^ — 
" the symbol of the Almighty and self-competent power, which 
requires no means exterior to itself."^ And, still further to evolve 
and expound the idea of absolute origination. It is added, " so 
that the things which are seen, were not made from things which 
do appear ;"3 or, which amounts to the same, " the things visible 
were made from things not visible ;"'* i. e., not from anything 
pre-exi^Ung ; they were strictly originated by the creative fiat. 
Had the apostle meant merely that the visible creation was form- 
ed from a pre-existing invisible matter, he surely would not have 
made it a doctrine of faith. This is rather a doctrine of sense, 
in antagonism to faith ; and, as such, it has been always accept 
able to a sensuous philosophy. 

Indeed, \^ does not appear that any other meaning was ever 
attached to the Mosaic statement, by the ancient church, than 
that given by the apostle. " God made them [heaven and earth] 
from things that do not exist ;"5 i. e., from nothing previously 

* Psalm xxxiii. 6 ; cxlviii. 5. ^ Tholuck on the Hebrews, in loc. 
^ E/f TO jifj eK (patvo/UEVcjv tu, jSleTrojueva yeyovevat. 

* M^ ^aivo/ievcou being here equivalent to //^ ovtuv; for, as God alone 
existed to see or to know, if there was nothing visible to Him, there was 
nbthing. Just as in Hebrew, nimtsa — that which is found, is a term em- 
ployed to denote that which exists; and, with the negative particle, to 
denote the not-found, meaning the non-existent. See Bloomfield, in loc. ; 
Stuart, Storr and Flatt, § xxxi, ; Knapp's Theology, § xlvi. note; the 
translations of Sacy, Osterwald, Luther, Diodati, and the Engiisli ver- 
sions of 1557 aud 1611. 

^ OvK e^ ovTov kTTolrjaev avra 6 Qebc;. 2 Mace. vii. 28. The Vulgate, 
ex nihilo fecit Dens cozlum et terrain. 

278 NOTES. 

existing. According to the Rabbins, ^ the verse should be ren- 
dered, " God, in the beginning, created the substance of the 
heavens, and the substance of the earth." The Syriac translator 
understood the verse in the same sense.^ It is clear, says Chry- 
sostom, in his paraphrase . of the apostolic interpretation, " that 
God, from things not in being, made those which are in being ; 
from those not visible, the things which do appear ; and, from 
things having no subsistence, those things which subsist." But 
if such is the apostolic exposition of Gen. i. 1, it follows that the 
same exposition must be received as the inspired interpretation 
of the whole of that class of parallel passages in the Old Testa- 
ment, of which that verse stands at the head. 

The tldrd proposition is, that this absolute origination of mat- 
ter was a Divine act not included in the six days of the Adamic 
creation. The question, here, does not respect the length of the 
interval between that originating act and the Adamic creation. 
The proposition simply affirms that there teas an interval ; and im- 
plies, that the inspired text neither asserts its brevity nor denies 
its length. Its duration is supposed to be indicated in indelible 
characters elsewhere — in the crust of the globe itself. The 
scriptural record is simply, but significantly, indicative of an in- 

The principal objection to this view is derived from ftcod. xx. 
11, wherein, as the reason for observing the Sabbath, the entire 
and complete work of creation is supposed to be described as car- 
ried on and ended in six days. To which it should be sufficient 
to reply, that so much of the creative process is there referred to 
— and only so much — as related to the law of the Sabbath, 
namely, the six days of the Adamic creation ; or th% making of 
the heaven and the earth as described in Gen. i. 3, &c. But, 
secondly, the same rule which leads one objector to rely on Exod. 
XX. 11, as a proof that the entire creation was comprised in six 
Adamic days, would justify another in insisting that it was com- 
prised in one day, because it is said, Gen. ii. 4, " These are the 
generations of the heavens and the earth, in their being created, 
in the day of Jehovah God's making earth and heavens :" the 
obvious meaning of the original being, however, at the time of 

' Who understand et\ here to denote the substance or material Com- 
pare Gesenius, sub voce ; Aberi IS.zrfl- f Kinichi, in his Book of Roots ; and 
Buxtoif s Talmudic Lexicon. 

^ In Walton's Polyglott, the Syriac is ye*y properly translated, esse 
cijeli et esse terrai — the being or substance of tlie ne»;y^7i, and the being or 
swis/ance of the earth. ' 

NOTES. 279 

their creation, or after they were created. And, thirdly, it is a 
violation of an essential rule of sound interpretation to infer the 
meaning of an author from a condensed sentence, introduced 
incidentally, instead of deriving it from his more direct, connect- 
ed, and ample statements on the same subject. Noav, the full 
and formal treatment of creation occupies the whole of the first 
ch-apter of Genesis. To afHrm, without proof, that the verse in 
Exodus condenses the whole of the chapter, is to beg the very 
question at issue. That the chapter includes all that the verse 
relates to, I admit. But it includes more. It affirms, for exam- 
ple, in the second verse, the significant fact, that there was a 
period when " the earth was without form and void :" respecting 
this the verse in Exodus is silent ; while, in the first verse, the 
chapter affirms that at some period prior to that state of chaos — 
in the beginning — God originated the material of the universe. 
And the question is, whether, according to the critical and cor- 
rect rendering of the text, that period was not prior to the six 
days of the Adamic creation. 

When it is objected to this priority, that the decision of the 
question might be safely left to any unbiassed mind on a perusal 
of the English version of the text, the" objector is evidently cal- 
culating on the effect likely to be produced on the " unbiassed 
mind" by the mere juxtaposition of the opening verses, and by 
the conjunctive meaning, and, given to the Hebrew particle vau, 
which commences the second verse. This, however, is an appeal, 
not to his knowledge, but to his ignorance. It is to take advan- 
tage, not of his judgment, but of his prejudice. For unless, by 
an act of marvellous intuition, he could infer the Hebrew original 
from the English rendering, he may, for aught he knows to the 
contrary, be pronouncing on the meaning of a faulty translation. 
So that the question to be first decided, relates to the correct 
rendering of the original. If, for example, according to the learn- 
ed and judicious Dathe, that rendering should be, " In the be- 
ginning, God created the heaven and the earth. But afterwards 
the earth became waste and desolate," — an unbiassed mind, in 
that case, could arrive only at the conclusion tljat a period was 
spoken of prior to the six natural days described in the verses 

Now such appears to be the true sense of the original. The 
connecting particle at the beginning of the second verse leaves 
the question of time entirely open. It does not rule the sen- 
tence ; the sentence rules it, and determines what its particular 
shade of meaning was intended to be. Even in our Enn;lish ver- 

280 NOTES. 

slon, it Is often translated by other conjunctions : thus, in the 
very next chapter, verse 17, it is rendered hut. Sometimes, it 
begins whole books. At other times, as in Numb. xx. 1, it spans 
a wide chronological interval. Indeed, as the general connective 
particle of the Hebrew language, it is employed as copulative, 
continuative, adversative, disjunctive, and for other purposes ;' 
the specific purpose, in every case, being determinable by a con- 
sideration of the context alone. 

To an examination of the text, then, let the question be refer- 
red. Now, that the originating act, described in the first verse, 
was not meant to be included in the account of the six Adamic 
days, is evident from the following considerations : First, the 
creation of the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth days, begins 
with the formula. And God said ; it is only natural, therefore, to 
conclude that the creation of the first day begins with the third 
verse, where the same formula is employed, " And God said, Let 
there be light." But if so, it follows that the act described in 
the first verse, and the state of the earth spoken of in the second, 
must have both belonged to a period anterior to the first day. 
Secondly, the only adequate reason assignable for the account 
given in the second verse is, to prepare the reader for the 
description which follows of the six days' work. For it both 
intimates the necessity for such work, by affirming the chaotic 
condition of the earth ; and describes the Spirit of God as hover- 
ing over the chaos, preparatory to it. Not only the originating 
act in the first verse, therefore, but also the commencement of the 
energizing process in the second, appears to have preceded the 
opening fiat of creation on the first day, and to have been intro- 
ductory to it. Thirdly, if it be admitted that the regular unfold- 
ing of the six days' work begins at the third verse, it follows that 
the origination of the earth, in the first verse, was anterior to and 
independent of it ; for no such an act is again adverted to In the 
subsequent verses. On the whole, then, my firm persuasion is, 
that the first verse of Genesis was designed, by the Divine Spirit, 
to announce the absolute origination of the material universe by 
the Almighty Creator ; and that it is so understood in other parts 
of Holy Writ : 'that, passing by an indefinite interval, the second 
verse describes the state of our planet Immediately prior to the 

^ Gesenius, sub voce. The lexicographer refers to the particle in Gen. 
i. 2, as an instance of its continuative force merely — i. c, as employed for 
the simple purpose of connecting one part of a subject with the next 
which followed it in the order of the writer's design, without any refer- 
ence to the length of intervening time. 

NOTES. 281 

Adamic creation ; and that the third verse begins the account 
of the six days' work. 

K I am reminded that I am in danger of being biassed in 
favor of these conclusions by the hope of harmonizing Scripture 
with geology, I might venture to suggest, in reply, that the 
danger is not all on one side. Instances of adherence to tradi- 
tional interpretations, chiefly because they are traditional and 
popular, though in the face of all evidence of their faultlness, are 
by no means so rare as to render warning unnecessary. The 
danger of confounding the infallibility of our own interpretation 
with the infallibility of the sacred text, is not peculiar to a party. 
If, again, I am reminded. In a tone of animadversion, that I 
am making science, in this instance, the interpreter of Scripture, 
my reply is, that I am simply making the works of God illustrate 
his word, in a department in which they speak with a distinct 
and authoritative voice ; that " it is all the same whether our 
geological or theological investigations have been prior. If we 
have not forced the one into accordance with the other ;"i and 
that It might be deserving consideration, whether or not the 
conduct of those is not open to just animadversion, who first 
undertake to pronounce on the meaning of a passage of Scrip- 
ture irrespective of all the appropriate evidence, and who then, 
when that evidence is explored and produced, Insist on their a 
priori Interpretation as the #nly true one. 

But In making these remarks, I have been conceding too much. 
The views which I have exhibited are not of yesterday. It la 
" important and interesting to observe, how the early fathers of 
the Christian church should seem to have entertained precisely 
similar views ; for St. Gregory Nazlanzen, after St. Justin Mar- 
tyr, supposes an indefinite period between the creation and the 
first ordering of all things. St. Basil, St. Caasarlus, and Origen, 
are much more explicit.''^ To these might be added Augustine, 
Theodoret, Episcopius, and others, whose remarks Imply the ex- 
isten-ce of a considerable Interval " between the creation related 
in the first verse of Genesis, and that of which an account is 
given in the third and following verses."^ In modern times, but 
long before geology became a science, the independent character 
of the opening sentence of Genesis was affirmed by such judi- 

' Dr. S. Davidson's Sacred Hermencutics, p. 672. 

2 Principal Wiseman's Lectures on the Connection between Science 
and Kevealcd lteliL;ion, vol. i. ]). 297. 

^ Tiic Note ill IJiickhuKrs lirid^ewalcr Treatise, by Dr. Pus-y, wnu 
refers to i'etuviiis, li!.. c. cap. 11, ^ i— viii. 

282 NOTES. 

cious and learned men as Calvin, Bishop Patrick, and Dr. David 
Jennings.^ And " in some old editions of the English Bible, 
where there is no division into verses, you actually find a break 
at the end of what is now the second verse ; and in Luther's 
Bible (Wittemberg, 1557) you have in addition the figure (I) 
placed against the third verse, as being the beginning of the 
account of the creation on the first day." Now these views were 
formed independently of all geological considerations. In the- 
entire absence of evidence from this quarter — probably even in 
opposition to it, as some would think — these conclusions were 
arrived at on biblical grounds alone. Geology only illustrates and 
confirms them. The works of God prove to be one with this 
preconceived meaning of his word. And there is ground to ex- 
pect that this early interpretation will gradually come to be 
universally accepted as the only correct one. 

Note C, p. 77. 

" It has appeared to some persons that the mere aspect of 
order and symmetry in the works of nature — the contemplation 
of comprehensive and consistent law — is sufficient to lead us to 
the conception of a design and intelligence producing the order 
and carrying into effect the law. «^Vithout here attempting to 
decide whether this is true, we may discern that the conception 
of design arrived at in this manner, is altogether different from 
that idea of design which is suggested to us by organized bodies, 
and which we describe as the doctrine of Final Causes. The 
regular form of a crystal, whatever beautiful symmetry it may 
exhibit, whatever general laws it may exemplify, does not prove 
design in the same manner in which design is proved by the 
provisions for the preservation and growth of the seeds of plants, 
and of the young of animals. The laAv of universal gravitation, 
however wide and simple, does not impress us with the belief of 
a purpose, as does that propensity by which the two sexes of 
each animal are brought together. If it could be shown that the 
symmetrical structure of a flower results from laws of the same 
kind as those which determine the regular forms of crystals, or 
the motions of the planets, the discovery might be very striking 
and important, but it would not at all come under our idea of 
Final Cause." Whewell's Phil, of the Inductive Sciences., vol. ii. 
p. 87. 

* Dr. J. Pye Smith's Scripture and Geology, pp 179, 180. 

NOTES. 283 

Note D, p. 131. 

This note is taken, partly, from an abstract of a coinmunlea- 
tion to the British Association, in 1845, by Professor E. Forbes, 
" On the Distribution of Endemic Plants, more especially those of 
the British Islands, considered with regard to Geological Changes ;" 
and partly from his essay " On the connection between the Dis- 
tribution of the existing Fauna and Flora of the British Isles, 
and the Geological Changes which have affected their area, es- 
pecially during the epoch of the Northern Drift," in the " Me- 
moirs of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, &c." The ob- 
ject of its insertion here is to illustrate the doctrine of successive 

" In the following remarks on the history of the indigenous 
Fauna and Flora of the British Islands and the neighboring sea," 
writes Professor Forbes, " I take for granted the existence of 
specific centres — i. e., of certain geographical points from which 
the individuals of each species have been diffused. This, indeed, 
must be taken for granted, if the idea of species (as most natural- 
ists hold) involves the idea of the relationship of all the individ- 
uals composing it, and their consequent descent from a single 
progenitor, or from two, according as the sexes might be united 
or distinct. 

" That this view is true, the following facts go far to prove. 
First : Species of opposite hemispheres placed under similar con- 
ditions are representative^ and not identical. Secondly : Species 
occupying similar conditions in geological formations far apart, 
and which conditions are not met with in the intermediate forma- 
tions, are representative and not identical. Thirdly : Wherever 
a given assemblage of conditions, to which, and to which only, 
certain species are adapted, are continuous — whether geographi- 
cally or geologically — identical species range throughout. 

" I offer n-o comments on these three great facts, which I pre- 
sent for the consideration of the few naturalists who doubt the 
doctrine of specific centres. The general and traditional belief 
of mankind has connected the idea of descent with that of distinct 
kinds, or species, of creatures ; and the abandonment of this doc- 
trine would place in a very dubious position all the evidence the 
palaBontologist could offer to the geologist towards the comparison 
and identification of strata, and the determination of the epoch 
of their formation. 

" Moreover, it is notorious that the doctrine of more than one 
point of origin for a single species, and consequently, more than 

284 NOTES. 

one primogenitor for the individuals of it, sprcing out of apparent 
anomalies and difficulties in distribution, such as those which I 
am about to show can be reasonably accounted for, without having 
recourse to such a supposition. 

The hypothesis of the descent of all the Individuals of a spe- 
cies either from a first pair or from a first individual, and the 
consequent theory of specific centres, being assumed, the isolation 
of assemblages of individuals from those centres and the existence 
of endemic or very local plants, remain to be accounted for. Nat- 
ural transport, the agency of the sea, rivers, and winds, and car- 
riage by animals, or through the agency of man, are means, in 
the majority of cases. Insufficient. It is usual to say that the 
presence of many plants is determined by soil or climate, as the 
case may be ; but if such plants be found in areas disconnected 
from their centres by considerable intervals, some other cause 
than the mere influence of soil or climate must be sought to ac- 
count for their presence. This cause the author proposes to seek 
in an ancient connection of the outposts or isolated areas with the 
original centres, and the subsequent isolation of the former through 
geological changes and events, especially those dependent on the 
elevation and depression of land. Selecting the flora of the Brit- 
ish Isles for a first illustration of this view, Professor Forbes calls 
attention to the fact, well known to botanists, of certain species 
of flowering plants being found indigenous in portions of that area 
at a great distance from the nearest assemblage of mdlviduals of 
the same species in countries beyond it. Thus many plants pecu- 
liar In the British flora to the west of Ireland have the nearest 
portion of their specific centres in the north-west of Spain ; others, 
confined with us to the south-west promontory of England, are, 
beyond our shores, found In the Channel Isles and the opposite 
coast of France ; the vegetation of the south-east of England is 
that of the opposite part of the Continent ; and the Alpine veg- 
etation of Wales and the Scottish Highlands is Intimately related 
to that of the Norwegian Alps. The great mass of the British 
flora has its most intimate relations with that of western Germany. 
The vegetation of the British Islands may be said to be composed 
of five floras : — 1st, a west Pyrenean, confined to the west of 
Ireland, and mostly to the mountains of that district ; 2nd, a flora 
related to that of the south-west of France, extending from the 
Channel Isles, across Devon arid Cornwall, to the south-east and 
part of the south-west of Ireland ; 3rd, the flora common to the 
north of France and south-east of England, and especially devel- 
oped in the chalk districts ; 4th, an Alpine flora, deve'oped In the 

• NOTES. 285 

mountains of Wales, north of England, and Scotland ; and 5th, a 
Germanic flora, extending over the greater part of Great Britain 
and Ireland, mingling with the other floras, and diminishing, 
though slightly, as we proceed westwards, indicating its easterly 
origin and relation to the characteristic flora of northern and 
western Germany. Interspersed among the members of the last- 
named flora are a very few specific centres, peculiar to the British 
Isles. The author numbers these floras according to magnitude 
as to species, and also, in his opinion, according to their relative 
age and periods of introduction into the area of the British Is- 
lands. His conclusions on this point are the following : — 

"1. The oldest of the floras now composing the vegetation of 
the British Isles is that of the mountains of the west of Ireland. 
Although an Alpine flora, it is southernmost in character, and quite 
distinct as a system from the ftoras of the Scottish and Welsh Alps. 
Its very southern character, its limitation, and its extreme isola- 
tion, are evidences of its antiquity, pointing to a period when a 
great mountain barrier extended across the mouth of the Bay of 
Biscay from Spain to Ireland. 

" 2. The distribution of the second flora, next in point of prob- 
able date, depended on the extension of a barrier, the traces of 
which still remain, from the west of France to the south-west 
of Britain, and thence to Ireland. 

" 3. The distribution of the third flora depended on the con- 
nection of the coasts of France and England towards the eastern 
part of the Channel. Of the former existence of this union no 
geologist doubts. 

" 4. The distribution of the fourth, or Alpine flora of Scotland 
and Wales, was effected during the glacial period, when the moun- 
tain summits of Britain were low islands, or members of chains 
of islands, extending to the area of Norway through a glacial sea, 
and clothed with an arctic vegetation, which, in the gradual up- 
heaval of the land, and consequent change of climate, became limit- 
ed to the summits of the new formed and still existing mountains. 

" 5. The distribution of the fifth, or Germanic flora, depended 
on the upheaval of the bed of the glacial sea, and the consequent 
connection of Ireland and England, and of England with Ger- 
many, by great plains, the fragments of which still exist, and upon 
which livfed the great elk, and other quadrupeds now extinct. 

"The breaking up, or submergence, of the first barrier led to 
the destruction of the second ; that of the second to that of the 
third ; but the well-marked epoch of the Germanic flora indi- 
cates the subsequent formation of the Straits of Dover an(#of 
the Irish Sea, as now exi.-ting. 

286 NOTES. # 

" To determine the probable geological epoch of the first, or 
west Irish flora, a fragment, perhaps, with that of northwestern 
Spain, of the vegetation of the true Atlantic, we must seek among 
fossil plants for a starting-point in time. This we get in the flora 
of the London clay, or eocene, which is tropical in character, and 
far anterior to the oldest of the existing floras. The geographi- 
cal relations of the miocene sea, indicated hy the fossils "of the 
coralline crag, give an after-date certainly to the second and 
third of the above floras, if not to the first. The epoch of the 
red or middle crag was probably coeval with the in-coming of the 
second flora; that of the mammaliferous crag with the third. The 
date of the fourth is too evident to be questioned ; and the author 
regards the glacial region in which it flourished as a local climate, 
of which no true traces, so far as animal life is concerned, exists 
southwards of the second and third barriers. This was the newer 
pliocene epoch. The period of the fifth flora was that of the 
post-tertiary, when the present aspect of things was organized." 

In his masterly essay, the Professor has shown that the pecu- 
liar distribution of the endemic animals, especially of the terres- 
trial mollusca, bears him out in these views. And among the 
chief conclusions which he derives from the facts and arguments 
there adduced, the first is, that " the flora and fauna, terrestrial 
and marine, of the British islands and seas, have originated, so 
far as that area is concerned, since the miocene epoch." And the 
second, that "the assemblages of animals and plants composing 
that fauna and flora, did not appear in the area they now inhabit 
simultaneously, but at several distinct points of time." These 
distinct periods, beginning some time after the miocene epoch and 
ending with that of the post-tertiary, are indicated above. And 
the evidence of the in-coming of each assemblage of plants and 
animals, in the order and at the time specified, is to be found in 
the fossil recoi'ds which the earth contains, and which the essay 
clearly exhibits. It hardly need be added, that the same course 
of investigation is as applicable to the entire globe as to the area 
in question, and the relations of the ancient epochs of geology 
one with another, as of the present with the geological past. 

Note E, p. 180. 

On the subject of animal pain there are two extreme opinions. 
O*, underrates the evil, treats it as incidental merely, and tends 

NOTES. 287 

to ignore it. The other, morbidly- Inxurintos m the idea that sen- 
tient existence is one great agony ; and indignantly turns away 
from the ten thousand mitigating proofs that there is a law of 
graduating sensibility pervading the animal kingdom, according 
to which the degree of feeling diminishes as the organization de- 
scends in the scale. It will have it, that " the mouse is in ago- 
nies" in the presence of the cat which is about to destroy it, even 
though the mouse practically affirms the contrary by quietly stop- 
ping to discuss a morsel of bread which happens to lie at the mo- 
ment in its path. (A fact which I have seen). It will insist that 
the polypus suffers torture at the excision of one of its numerous 
and ever-Avaving tentacula, although all the other tentacula con- 
tinue to wave meantime in apparently unconscious and undisturb- 
ed tranquillity. 

In the text, I have maintained a medium view ; endeavoring 
to show that, as the myriad tribes of minute organisms, in which 
sensibility to pain is reduced to the minimum, constitute the staple 
of animal food, the arrangement benevolently provides, in so far, 
for the least possible amount of suffering ; and that as to employ- 
ing them for food, it is more consistent with the greatest amount 
of enjoyment, that a certain proportion of that food should be 
animated, and be filled with pleasure until it is wanted, than that 
it should never have existed. One of my reviewers supposes that, 
in arguing thus, I must have forgotten that the food of the herbi- 
vorous animal is chemically the same with that of the carnivorous ; 
and that, therefore, unless the stock of vegetable food failed from 
the superfecundity of animal life, my position is not made good. 
Now, I can assure him that I was led to adopt my view of the 
subject, not by forgetting, but by remembering the point in ques- 
tion, and by remembering it, in union with two or three other 
facts which do not appear to have ever occurred to him. He ap- 
pears to satisfy himself on the subject, by erroneously limiting 
his view to the existence of the larger herbivorous animals. So 
also another writer, taking the same narrow ground, remarks, that 
the carnivorous animal finds nothing in the creature it devours, 
which it might not have derived from the vegetable food out of 
which the flesh of its prey was transmuted. Now, let us apply 
this reasoning to the ant and the aphis, or plant-louse, as an ex- 
ample. The numerous tribes of the aphis family of insects are 
most destructive to plants, of which they suck the juices with their 
trunk. Now, in the course of a day, an ant, whose nest is at 
hand, will clear a leaf of a whole colony of them. But the ant 
iinds nothing, it is said, in the aphis, which it might not have de- 

288 NOTES. 

rived from the leaf out of which %e aphis was transmuted. Grant- 
ed ; but, according to the existing arrangement, a hundred insects 
lived their day of life on that leaf, which they could not have en- 
joyed had the leaf been pre-occupied or exhausted by the ant ; 
while they themselves are subsequently carried off and reserved 
for the sustenance of other forms of life. " Consider (says Pro- 
fessor Owen in his Lectures on the Invertehrata) their incredible 
numbers, their universal distribution, their insatiable voracity, 
and that It Is the particles of decaying vegetable and animal bodies 
which they are appointed to devour and assimilate. Surely we 
must In some degree be Indebted to these ever-active invisible 
scavengers, for the salubrity of our atmosphere. Nor Is this all : 
they perform a still more Important office In preventing the grad- 
ual diminution of the present amount of organized matter upon 
the earth. For when this matter Is dissolved or suspended In 
water, in that state of comminution and decay which immediately 
precedes Its final decomposition Into the elementary gases, and 
its consequent return from the organic to the Inorganic world, 
these wakeful members of nature's invisible police are everywhere 
ready to arrest the fugitive organized particles, and turn them 
back into the ascending stream of animal life. Having converted 
the dead and decomposing particles Into their own living tissues, 
they themselves become the food of larger Infusoria, and of nu- 
merous other small animals, which In their turn are devoured by 
larger animals : and thus a pabulum fit for the nourishment of 
the highest organized beings is brought back by a short route 
from the extremity of the realms of organized matter." These 
remarks relate especially to the processes which are ever going 
on in the teeming world of waters. True ; the animal nourish- 
ment, in this instance, is, by supposition, already decomposed; 
and, therefore, does not affect the question of prey. But the 
view I am opposing merges this aspect of the subject, and equally 
denies that the consumption of animal food, whether alive, dead, 
or decomposed, augments the sum total of animal enjoyment ; for 
the strength of Its denial lies in the fact that the chemical ele- 
ments of vegetable and animal life are the same. But who does 
not see that if these swarms of Invisible animalcules were debar- 
red from feeding on animal, and were confined to vegetable mat- 
ter, whole tribes of them must be blotted from existence for lack 
of food ? Nor could the process of annihilation stop here : It 
must extend also to whole classes of those animals whose decom- 
posed remains they now devour ; for If we are " in some degree 
indebted to these ever-active invisible scavengers, for the salu- 

NOTES. 289 

brity of our atmosphere," their non-existence presupposes also the 
non-existence of their pestilential food. 

Those who argue that, because the food of the herbivorous ani- 
mal is chemically the same as the carnivorous, therefore nothing 
is gained to the amount of animal life and enjoyment by the 
existence of carnivora, unless the stock of vegetable food failed 
from the superfecundity of animal life, appear to overlook cer- 
tain facts important to a correct decision. They seem to forget 
that, if vegetables have a chemistry, animals have a chemistry of 
their own also ; that, although vegetable is the ultimate solid sup- 
port of animal life, yet animals drink and breathe as well as eat ; 
and that drinking and breathing are the means of growth. The 
problem is not merely. Given a certain surface of earth, and a 
certain amount of vegetable life, to support and determine the 
greatest amount of animal life ; but, Given both these, and an 
ocean of air and of water in addition. The animal draws from 
these latter sources as copiously as the vegetable. And the con- 
sequence is, that the quantity of animal matter in existence is 
incomparably greater than the amount of vegetable matter would 
account for. And the obvious inference is, that a far greater 
variety and amount of animal life is supportable by employing 
this vast quantity of animal substance as food, than if it were all 
wasted, and animal life were sustained by vegetable nourishment 
alone. The system of prey Is only incidental to this greater ques- 
tion. If it be true, that the same animal seized as prey, affords 
a much larger quantity of nourishment than it would if it had 
been left to waste away in sickness and death ; if the sudden and 
rapid multiplication of insect life would in some instance strip a 
district of its vegetable clothing were it not kept in check by an 
insectivorous provision ; and if, as I have instanced in the case 
of the ant and the aphides, (other illustrations might be easily 
adduced,) their destruction for food, does not cancel the previous 
fact of their existence and enjoyment, the conclusion is fully war- 
ranted, that it is more consistent with the greatest amount of en- 
joyment that a certain proportion of animal food should be ani- 
mated and be filled with pleasure until it is wanted than it should 
never have existed. 

Note F, p. 218, 

On the presumed influences of climate, food, and hybridization, 
the following observations are valuable, from " Ornamental and 

25 - 

290 NOTES. 

Domestic poultry ; their History and Management." By the Rev. 
E. S. Dixon, M. A. 

" Some very important speculations respecting organic life, and 
the history of the animated races now inhabiting this planet, are 
closely connected with the creatures we retain in domestication, 
and can scarcely be studied so well in any other field. Poultry, 
living under our very roof, and, by the rapid succession of their 
generations, affording a sufficient number of instances for even the 
short life of man to give time to take some cognisance of their 
progressive succession, — poultry afford the best possible subjects 
lor observing the transmission or interruption of hereditary forms 
and instincts. I shall, no doubt, at the first glance, be pronounced 
rash, as soon as I am perceived to quit the plain task of observing, 
for the more adventurous one of speculating upon what I have 
observed. I can only say that the conclusion to which I have 
arrived respecting what is called the ' origin' of our domestic races, 
has been, to my own mind, irresistible, having begun the investi- 
gation with a bias towards what I must call the wild theory, 
although so fashionable of late, that our tame breeds or varieties 
are the result of cross breeding between undomesticated animals, 
fertile inter se. It will be found, I imagine, on strict inquiry, that 
the most careful breeding will only fix and make prominent pecu- 
liar features or points that are observed in certain families of the 
same aboriginal species, or sub-species, — no more : and that the 
whole world might be challenged to bring evidence (such as would 
be admitted in an English court of justice) that any permanent 
intermediate variety of bird or animal, that would continue to 
reproduce offspring like itself, and not reverting to either original 
type, had been originated by the crossing of any two wild species. 
Very numerous instances of the failure of such experimental 
attempts might be adduced. The difficulty under which science 
labors in pursuing this inquiry, is much increased by the mystery 
in which almost all breeders have involved their proceedings even 
if they have not purposely misled those who have endeavored to 
trace the means employed. As to the great question of the Immu- 
tability of Species, so closely allied to the investigation of the dif- 
ferent varieties of poultry, as far as my own limited researches 
have gone — and they have been confined almost entirely to birds 
under the influence of man — they have led me to the conclusion 
that even sub-species and varieties are much more permanent, 
independent, and ancient than is currently believed at the present 
day. This result has been to me unavoidable, as well as unex- 
pected ; for, as above mentioned, I started with a great idea of the 

NOTES. 291 

powerful transmuting Influence of time, changed climate, and 
increased food. My present conviction is, that the diversities 
which we see in even the most nearly allied species of birds are 
not produced by any such influences, nor by hybridization ; but 
that each distinct species, however nearly resembling any other, 
has been produced by a Creative Power : I am even disposed to 
adopt this view towards many forms that are usually considered 
as mere varieties. As far as I have been able to ascertain facts^ 
hybrids that are fertile are even then saved from being posterity- 
less (to coin a word) only by their progeny rapidly reverting 
to the type of one parent or the other ; so that no intermediate 
race is founded. Things very soon go on as they went before, or 
they cease to go on at all. This is the case with varieties also, 
and is well known to breeders as one of the most inflexible difli-/ 
culties they have to contend with, called by them ' crying back.' 
This circumstance first led me to suspect the permanence and 
antiquity of varieties, and even of what are called ' improvements ' 
and ' new breeds.' Half of the mongrels that one sees are only 
transition-forms, passing back to the type of one or other original 
progenitor. At least, my eye can detect such to be frequently 
the apparent fact in the case of Domestic Fowls. Any analogies 
from plants must be cautiously applied to animals ; but even in 
the vegetable kingdom the number and reproductive power of 
hybrids is apparently greater than it really is, owing to the facil- 
ity of propagation by extension, by which means a perfectly sterile 
individual can be multiplied and kept in existence for many hun- 
dred years ; whereas a half-bred bird or animal would, in a short 
time, disappear and leave no trace. I have not met with one 
authenticated fact of the race of pheasants having been really and 
permanently incorporated with fowls, so as to originate a mixed 
race capable of continuation with itself; but with many that 
prove the extreme improbability of such a thing happening." 

Note G, p. 223. 

" Some years ago," (says Professor Schleiden, in " The Plant : 
a Biography,") " I was very intimate with the directing physician 
of a large lunatic asylum, and I used industriously to avail myself 
of the liberty I thus obtained, to visit at will the house and its 
inhabitants. One morning I entered the room of a madman, 
whose constantly varying hallucinations especially interested me. 
I found him crouching down by the stove, watching, with close 
attention, a saucepan, the contents of which he was carefully stir- 

292 NOTES. 

ring. At the noise of my entrance, he turned round, and, with a 
face of the greatest importance, whispered, ' Hush, hush ! don't 
disturb my little pigs ; they will be ready directly.' Full of curi- 
osity to know whither his diseased imagination had now led him, 
I approached nearer. ' You see,' said he, with the mysterious 
expression of an alchemist, 'here I have black-puddings, pigs' 
bones and bristles, in the saucepan — everything that is necessary 
— we only want the vital warmth, and the young pig will be 
ready made again.' " This is hardly a caricature of certain spec- 
ulatists. " Organism " (says Oken) " is galvanism residing in a 
thoroughly homogeneous mass. * * * A galvanic pile pounded 
into atoms must become alive. In this manner, nature brings 
forth organic bodies " ! ! 

Note H, p. 231. 

" The geographical distribution of organic groups in space " 
(says Mr. Strickland in his work on " The Dodo and its Kin- 
dred") " is a no less interesting result of science than their geo- 
logical succession in time. We find a special relation to exist 
between the structures of organized bodies and the districts of the 
earth's surface which they inhabit. Certain groups of animals or 
vegetables, often very extensive, and containing a multitude of 
genera or of species, are found to be confined to certain continents 
and their circumjacent islands. In the present state of science 
we must be content to admit the existence of this law, without 
being able to enunciate its preamble. It does not imply that 
organic distribution depends on soil and climate ; for we often find 
a perfect identity of these conditions in opposite hemispheres and 
in remote continents, whose faunaa and florae are almost wholly 
diverse. It does not imply that allied but distinct organisms have 
been educed by generation or spontaneous development from the 
same original stock ; for (to pass over otber objections) we find 
detached volcanic islets which have been ejected from beneath 
the ocean, (such as the Galapagos, for instance,) inhabited by 
terrestrial forms allied to those of the nearest continent, though 
hundreds of miles distant, and evidently never connected with 
them. But this feet may indicate that the Creator in forming new 
organisms to discharge the functions required from time to time 
by the ever vacillating balance of Nature, has thought fit to pre- 
serve the regularity of the System by modifying the types of struc- 
ture already established in the adjacent localities, rather than to 
proceed per f^nJtnm by introducing forms of more foreign aspect." 


Abundance, of vegetable life, 165, 
173 ; of animal, 239, 248, 259. 

Action and reaction in the vegeta- 
ble kingdom, 149. 

Activity, law of, stated, 58 ; illus- 
trated from inorganic nature, 87- 
89 ; from organic life, 144 ; from 
sentient existence, 199. 

Adaptations to pre-existing laws, 
171; animal, 249. 

Affinity, 147. 

Agassiz, on transmutation of spe- 
cies, 217, 225 ; on the number of 
fossil fishes, 238. 

All-sufficiency of God, 20 ; of crea- 
tive power, 117, 120, 128 ; of crea- 
tive wisdom, 166, 168-175 ; of cre- 
ative goodness, 237 ; manifesta- 
tion of, progressive, 20 ; unend- 
ing, 22 ; all-comprehending, 23. 

Analogies of nature to moral truth, 

Analogy, 61 ; law of, stated, ib. ; il- 
lustrated from inorganic nature, 
97 5 from organic life, 153; from 
sentient existence, 214. 

Anaximander, his opinion of the 
creating cause, 25. 

Animal kingdom, organically con- 
tinuous, in what sense, 194, 207. 
Note ; geological continuity of, 
195 ; fourfold division of,' ib. ; 
physiological continuity of, 198; 
organization, plan of, 198, 237 ; 
numbers of, 248 ; means of its en- 
joyment improved to the utmost, 

A.nimal and organic life, distin- 

guished, 183, 195; earliest forms 
of, not the lowest order, 197 ; va 
riety and succession of, 196, 237, 
260 ; fecundity, 239 ; universali- 
ty, 248, 259. 

Antiquity of the earth, 66. 

Appointment, primary, and ever 
present agency, in creation, 103. 

Argument k posteriori, its depend- 
ence on h. priori beliefs, 124; lim- 
ited to mechanical causes and ef- 
fects, 125, 126 ; overlooks the orig- 
ination of matter, ib. 

Aristotle, his principle of animal 
classification, 241. 

Assimilation, distinctive of life, 136. 

Astronomy, its limits, 73. 

Attributes, Divine, not separable, 65, 
77, 129. 

Augustine on "the beginning," 31. 

Bacon, on final causes, 139. 

Bell, Sir C, on the relations of ani- 
mal organization, 204 ; organic 
provisions for animal Avell-being, 
252, 253 ; on the sensibility of the 
skin, 254. 

Berzelins, on crystallization, 80. 

Bichat, on physiology, 138 ; on the 
two-fold nature of the animal svs- 
tem, 184. 2^2. 

Botanical plan, 142, 147, 153, 175. 

progress, 142, 143. 

Boyle, on the pervading agency of 
God in Nature, 109. 

Brougham, Lord, on instinct, 189; 
on the benevolence of the Crea- 
tor, 251, 256. 



Buckland, Rev. Dr., on the botani- 
cal plan, 142 ; on the gradual con- 
formity of animals to existing 
types, 198; on transmutation of 
species, 218. 

Cambrian system, 70. 
Carboniferous system, 68. 
Causation, the idea of, how derived, 

Cause confounded with law, 104 ; 
with condition, 1.56.231, 236; the 
first, differing in nature from se- 
cond causes, 125, 126. 

final, 138, 139. 

Cavanilles, on vegetable growth, 145. 

Chalk formation, 67, 68. 

Change, law of, stated, 62 ; illustrat- 
ed from inorganic nature, 112- 
117; from organic life, 162,166; 
from sentient existence, 235, 240 ; 
ground for expecting it, 112, 162, 
235 ; conditions of, 112, 163, 164; 
time of, not capricious, 113, 162, 

Clark, Dr. AV., on foetal develop- 
ment, 221, 222, 223. 

Classes of plants, the same from the 
first, 132. 

Classification of inorganic substan- 
ces, principles of, 98-100; of the 
vegetable kingdom, 147, 153; of 
the animal kingdom, 227, 229. 

Coleridge, on animal rationality, 
191 ; on the progress of creation, 

(yOncuiTcnce, constant, of the Di- 
vine Will, in creation, 103. 

Condition, not to be confounded 
with cause, 156, 231, 336. 

(^Constitution of plants, independent, 
157; of animals, 229, 230. 

(Contingent truth, law of, stated, 5 ; 
illustrated from inorganic nature, 
100, 101 ; from organic life, 155 ; 
from sentient existence, 228. 

(continuity, law of, stated, 57 ; illus- 
trated from inorganic nature, 83- 
87 ; from organic life, 141 ; from 
sentient existence, 194-199; its 
unwarranted application, 83 ; not 
to be rejected for its misapplica- 
tion. 84. 

prospective, 170, 219, 

243, 256. 

Cousin, M., his opinion of the creat- 
ing cause, 25. 

Created excellence originally in 
God, 18, 26. 

Creation, cannot supersede the Di- 
vine right, 17; a voluntary act, 
24 ; the well-being of, coincident 
with the Divine glory, 27, 28 ; by 
natural law, not free from moral 
objections: 103, 104, 109 ; its lim- 
itation, inherent in matter, 126 ; 
an all-related system, 1 73 ; pri- 
mary, act of, 274; creation proper, 
scriptural view of, 274. 

Creature, none for an eternity, 16. 

Cumbrian formation, 70. 

Cuvier, on final causes in organiza- 
tion, 137; on life, 140; its activi- 
ty, 144; organic continuity, 195; 
tx-ansmutation, 225. 

Daubcney, Dr., on the rudimentary 
parts of plants, 154. 

Davidson, Dr. S., words and works 
of God, mutually illustrative, 281. 

Davy, Sir H., on the electric state 
of" the earth, 87. 

Death, animal, a part of the system 
of nature, 178-181 ; objections an- 
swered, 179 ; involved, in the 
greatest amount of animal enjoy- 
ment, 180; natural, preceded by 
the cessation of sensibility, 181. 

Decandolle, on the habits of plants, 

De la Beche, Sir Henry T., on 
transmutation, 225. 

Descartes, his error in reasoning 
only k priori, 10 ; on animal ra- 
tionality, 190. 

Design, when inferrible, 65, 119; 
two-fold evidence of, 1 56, 228, 229. 

Development, law of, stated, 59 ; 
illustrated from inorganic nafmc, 
90; from organic life, 145: from 
sentient existence. 200. 

Development, natural. anthro])omor- 
phizing views of, ]G'V)-108 ; rca.-^on 
assigned for, inconsistent, 156. 

Distances of the heavenly bodies, 



Dixon on liansmutation of species, 

Earth, its antiquity, 66 ; its magni- 
tude, 120 ; not eternal, 71 ; prim- 
itive activity of, 89 ; proximately 
made for man. 261 ; a school for 
his education, ib. ; a temple for 
his worship, 262 ; the scene of his 
probation, 266, 

Earth's crust, ideal section of, 67. 

Pidiuburgh Review, on Cousin's phi- 
losophy, 25. 

Effect, an infinite, in space, not pos- 
sible, 21 ; the first objective, 77. 

Ehrenberg, on microscopic animal- 
cules, 121, 223, 224. 

Embryotic hypothesis, unfounded, 
205, 219. 

End of creation, the ultimate, 25, 

End, more than one, designed in 
creation, 27 ; proximate ends con- 
cur with the ultimate, 214 ; ulti- 
mate, law of, stated, 51 ; illustrat- 
ed from inorganic nature, 120- 
128; from organic life, 169-175; 
from sentient existence, 243. 

Enjoyment, the existing scheme of 
animal life secures the greatest 
amount of, 181. 

Eocene, meaning of, 197. 

Evidence of a Creator, measured, 
118; of power and wisdom, from 
organic and inorganic nature, dif- 
ferent, 139, 140;- kind and degree 
of, adapted to man's designed 
constitution, 167-169, 242, 262; 
increased, 169, 243, 247. 

Excitability, a property of organic 
life, 146. 

Final causes, 137 ; assumed by those 
who profess to dispense with them, 
138 ; not to be admitted into me- 
chanical inquiries, 139. 

First Cause, diifering in nature from 
second causes, 125, 126. 

Fletcher, on foetal development, 221. 

Foetal development, 221, 222. 

Forbes, Professor E., on the connec- 
tion between the fauna and flora 
of the British isles, and the creo- 

logical changes which have af- 
fected this area, 283. 

Forchhammer, 134, 143. 

Fossil flora of tertiary strata, 143 ; 
fauna of, 196 ; flora of secondary 
strata, 143; fauna of, 196; flora 
of primary formation, 143 ; fauna 
of, 196 ; variety of, 237, 260. 

Fossil plants, number of species, 
141, 142. 

FoAvnes, on organic combinations, 

Fundamental relation, 26. 

Generation, spontaneous, 221-225. 

Genesis, 13, 75, 274. 

Geoffrey St. Hilaire, on final causes, 

Geological evidence of the earth's 
antiquity, objections answered, 75. 

Geology and miracle, 265-267. 

God, his own end, 13, 16, 20 ; eter- 
nity of, 13 ; necessary existence, 
absolute perfection, ib. ; onliness, 
15; plurality in unity, 14; self- 
sufficiency, 14, 1 9 ; unchangeable- 
ness, 16; to be his own end, an 
antecedent, eternal right, 17; his 
ultimate purpose in creation, 20; 
his all-sufficiency ,,ib. ; manifesta- 
tion of, not verbal merely, 33. 

Goodness, creative, 177; pain con- 
sistent with, 178; and economis- 
ed, 178, 179, 252, 255 ; and prey, 
system of, 178 ; all-sufficient, 232- 
239, 247, 260 ; display of, why not 
absolutely infinite, 240, 257, 258 ; 
power and wisdom, subservient to, 
247 ; infinity of, inferrible, 257 ; 
unlimited in relation to time, 258. 

Goppert, on the number of specie^s 
of fossil plants, 141. 

Great reason, 13, 271. 

"Heavens and earth," meaning of, 

Heb. xi., 14. 

Henslow, Rev. Professor, on the ac- 
tivity of vegetable life. 144 ; exci- 
tability, 146. 

Herschel, Sir John, on law as predi- 
cated of inanimate nature, 81 ; on 
the relations of the planc.*ary sy.s- 



tern, 90 ; on star clusters, 122 ; on 
causation, 125. 

Hooker, on the stability of nature, 

Humboldt, Alexander, on yolcanic 
activity, 87,88; on the distances 
of heavenly bodies, 122; on the 
abundance of vegetable life, 1 65. 

Hypothesis, the legitimate use of, 
10; of an atom proving an infi- 
nite being, 21 ; nebular, 73, 78, 

Idea of causation, how derived, 66. 

Ideal physical perfection suggested, 
96; botanical, 153; animal, §13. 

Ideal section of the earth's crust, 67. 

Influence, law of, stated, 59; illus- 
trated from inorganic nature, 93 ; 
from organic life, 149; from sen- 
tient existence, 207. 

Inorganic nature, 64. 

Instinctive mind, 184-193 ; why dif- 
ficult to explain, 184, 187 ; sensa- 
tion, a property of, 184; percep- 
tion, 1 85 ; muscular contraction, 
ib. ; volition, ib. ; its proximate 
end, 186; vital, ib.; adaptive, 187; 
mental, 187; advocates of animal 
rationality prove too much, 188, 
189 ; incapable of transmitting 
knowledge, 190; of barter, ib. ; 
of speech, ib. ; what intervenes 
between its perceptions and voli- 
tions, 191; its memory and asso- 
ciations, 191 ; unconscious of its 
own ends, 192 ; why without 
speech, 193. 

Instincts of the same species perma- 
nent, 210. 

JenjTis, on the arrangement of infu- 
soria, 224. 
John, the Gospel of, i. 1-3, 30, 276. 

Kant, on organization, 137. 
KnoAvledge, instinctive, not trans- 
missible, 189. 

Lamarck, on organic continuity, 195 ; 

on transmutation of species, 216 ; 

on the internal sentiment, 232. 
Laplace, his nebular hypothesis, 73 ; 

on chance, 82, 98, 101; on the 
stability of the heavens, 93, 97. 

Law, meaning of, as applied to na 
ture, 81, 94, 95. 

Law of resemblance, stated, 50 ; of 
the end 51 ; of relation, 52 ; of 
obligation, 53 ; of well-being, ib. ; 
of necessary truth, 54 ; of contin- 
gent truth, 55 ; of ultimate facts, 
56 ; of progression, ib. ; of con- 
tinuity, 57 ; of the past carried 
forwards, ib. ; of activity, 58 ; of 
development, 59; of order, ib. ; 
of influence, 60 ; of subordina- 
tion, ib. ; of uniformity, 61; of • 
analogy, ib. ; of change, 62 ; of the 
method, 63. 

Lawrence, on the mystery of sensa- 
tion, 232. 

Laws deduced and stated, 50. 

Leibnitz, on continuity, 84 ; on the 
calculable nature of the universe, 

Liebig, on the influence of natural 
science on mental improvement, 
167 ; on organic activity, 199 ; 
on organic continuity, 207 ; on 
chemical forces and vital powers, 

Life, organic, 136 ; assimilation, a 
distinction of, ib. ; propagation, 
137; excitability, 146; freedom 
of life, 150 ; organization, a con- 
dition of, not its cause, 151 : not 
necessitated by its physical con- 
ditions, 158; known only by its 
manifestations, 159 ; explained by 
physiology, in what sense, 160; 
its relations to creation and provi- 
dence, 161 ; distinguished from 
animal, 183, 195 ; always con- 
tinued on the earth, 197 ; supe- 
riority of animal to vegetable, 
200 ; embryo tic, first traces of 
205, 208. 

Limestone beds, 69. 

Limitation of creation, inherent in 
matter, 126, 173. 

Limits of astronomical science, 74. 

Lindley, Dr., on the decomposition 
of plants, 133; on botanical rela- 
tions, 142. 

" Logos," considered philologically, 



81 ; historically, ib. ; exegetical- 
ly, 32. 

Lusus naturse, accounted for, 199. 

Lyell, C, Sir, on geological grada- 
tion, 87 ; on the permanence of 
instincts in the same species, 210 j 
transmutation, 225. 

Macculloch, John, M. D., on geo- 
logical* gradation, 86 ; on the in- 
consistency of not recognising a 
Designing Cause, 168. 

Man, his voluntary nature consult- 
ed, 117, 166-168, 240-243 ; a me- 
ditation on his coming, 260; his 
well-being provided for, 263. 

Manifestation of God, not verbal 
merely, 33. 

Matter, creation of, a display of 
power, but not exclusively, 77, 
119; inorganic, its constitution, 8 1 ; 
its undecompounded forms, ib. ; 
its properties, 81 ; its laws, ib. ; its 
combinations, ib. ; relations of, to 
space and to time, distinction be- 
tween, 109 ; proportion of, to space, 
122 ; origination of, not included 
in the six days of the Adamic 
creation, 278-281. 

Means and ends, distinguished from 
causes and effects, 138. 

Mediatorial, the constitution of the 
universe, 29. 

Method, law of the, stated, 63 ; illus- 
trated, from inorganic nature, 117- 
119; from organic life, 166-169; 
from sentient existence, 240-243. 

Mill, J. S., on the legitimate use of 
hypothesis, 1 1 ; on laws of nature, 
94 ; on their supposed explanation, 
104 ; on ultimate laws, 233. 

Miiller, on the primitive trace^ 206. 

Murchison, Sir R. I., on fossil plants, 
141 ; on increase of species, 197. 

Natural Theology, 262, 266 ; connec- 
tion with revealed, 271. 

Nature, inorganic, 64 ; distinguished 
from organic, 147. 

Nature, laws of, 81, 94, 95 ; compat- 
ible ydth numerical increase, 94 ; 
with perturbations, 94, 203 ; and 

with certain changes in its con- 
stitution, 94 ; regularity of, often 
confounded with explanation, 104; 
anticipated art, 244. 

Nebular hypothesis, its design, 35; 
and claims, 73, 77, 85. 

Necessary truth, law of, stated 54 ; 
illustrated from inorganic nature, 
110; from organic life, 161 ; from 
sentient existence, 235 ; time and 
space, necessary conditions. 111; 
power, both cause and condition,ib. 

Necessary development, an assump- 
tion, 162, 232. 

Nerves, each class of, specific, 230, 
254-256 ; benevolent arrangement 
of, 253 ; sensibility of each nerve 
varies with its function, 255 ; not 
necessarily sensitive, 230, 256. 

Newton, on the perturbations of the 
planetary system, 93; on the di- 
vine agency in nature, 104 ; on the 
relation of physical scieiice to the 
first cause, 124. 

Nichol, Prof, on planetary changes, 

Obligation, the primary, 34 ; moral, 
ib. ; varies with the relation, ib.; 
mediatorial, ib. ; Scripture assumes 
it, 37 ; reason of, 38-41 ; essential 
to the Divine manifestation, 42; 
unending, ib. 

Obligation, law of, stated, 53 ; illus- 
trated from inorganic nature, 95 ; 
from organic life, 154; from sen- 
tient existence, 211-212. 

Old red sandstone, 69. 

Oolitic formation, 68. 

Order, law of, stated, 59 ; illustrated 
from inorganic nature, 92; fivm 
organic life, 148; from sentient 
existence, 205-207. 

Order of the manifestation, 64. 

Organic life, a display of wisdom, 
but not exclusively, 131 ; laws of, 
essential to man's interests, 166; 
distinguished from animal, 183, 

Organs, perfect from the first, 218; 
no one animal organ universal, 


Organization, 137; a condition of 
life not its cause, 152. 

Owen, Professor, on the orders of fos- 
sil reptiles, 196 ; on the transmu 
tation of species, 225. 

Pain, compatible with creative good 
ness, 178-181, 287; its warning 
nature, 252 ; contrivances for eco- 
nomizing it, 253. 
Paley,his definition of Instinct, 187; 
all nature pervaded by the same 
characteristics, 205, 210 ; on the 
preponderance of animal enjoy- 
ment, 247. 

Past, brought forwards, law of, stat- 
ed, 57 ; illustrated from inorganic 
nature, 79 ; from organic life, 133- 
136; from sentient existence, 182. 

Perfections, divine, not separable, 65, 
77, 129. 

Phillips, Professor, on the earliest 
fossil forms of life, 133; life and 
its conditions, 158; its uninterrup- 
ted maintenance, 197, 237 ; adap- 
tation of the globe to man, 242. 

Plan, botanical, 142, 148, 153, 174; 
animal, 198, 214; all related, 246. 

Planetary system, magnitude of, 121. 

Powell, Rev. Professor, on the evi- 
dence of power and wisdom com- 
pared, 140. 

Power, fundamental to every other 
attribute, 65 ; creation of matter, 
a display of. but not exclusively, 
77, 120; creative, unlimited in re- 
lation to time, 126, 173; evidence 
of, increased, 169. 

Power creative, the display of, not 
absolutely infinite, 115, 120, 124, 
all-sufficient, 117, 120, 128; a dis- 
play of, unlimited, requires time 
unlimited, 120; interpositions of, 
direct, 157, 231 ; increased display 
of, 243. 

Preliminary Treatise of the Library 
of Useful Knowledge on creative 
arrangements, 244-246. 

Primary formation, 69; fossil flora 
of, 142; fauna of, 196. 

Primary obligation, 34. 

Primitive trace of -embryonic life, 

Progression, law of, stated, 56 ; il- 
lustrated from inorganic nature, 
82, 83 ; from organic life, 136 ; 
from sentient existence, 183-193. 

Progressive, display of divine all- 
sufficiency, 20. 

Propagation, distinctive of life, 137. 

Prospective contrivances, 170, 219, 
243, 255. 

Prout, on the molecular constitution 
of matter, 101. 

Proximate principles of life, not imi- 
table, 160. 

Purpose, the ultimate, 20. 

Pusey, Rev. Dr., on Gen. i. L 275. 

Reason, the great, 13, 271. 

Recency of man's creation, 76. 

Relation, the fundamental, 29 ; me- 
diatorial, 30; preceded creation, 
ib. ; subservient to the display of 
the Divine all-sufficiency, 31 ; rea- 
son of, 37-40; will never termi- 
nate, 42. 

Relation, law of, stated, 52 ; illus- 
trated from inorganic nature, 90, 
92; from organic life, 147; from 
sentient existence, 203-208 ; rela- 
tions of matter, co-existent, 90; 
successively existent, 91 ; to God, 
92 ; of resemblance, 97 ; of organic 
life, external, 147, 153; internal, 
147; of the animal, external and 
co-existent, 203 ; internal and suc- 
cessive, 204. 

Resemblance, law of, stated, 50 ; il- 
lustrated from inorganic nature, 
77; from organic life, 131-133; 
from sentient existence, 178, 180. 

Resisting medium, 73. 

Revelation and natural science, 273. 

Right, the supreme, 42 ; of the Me- 
diator to the agency of the Holy 
Spirit, ib. ; to the service of the 
creature, 43 ; to all its legitimate 
increase, 44; to the satisfiiction 
arising from the accomplishment 
of His creative designs, 44 ; from 
beholding the progress of His pro- 
vidential scheme, 45 ; the effects 
of His interposition for man's re- 
covery, 47 ; from the homage of 
the recovered, 48; from being the 



object of infinite complacency, ib. ; 
from the attainment of the ulti- 
mate end, ib. 

Roget, P. Mark, M. D., on the part 
of the foitus first perfected, 206 ; 
on the nervous arrangements, 254. 

Rudimental organs, 154, 215. 

Schleiden, his illustration of wild 
speculations on life, 291. 

Schmid, on life, 137. 

Science versus atheism, 71, 80. 

Secondary strata, 67 ; fossil flora of, 
143 ; fossil fauna of, 196. 

Sedgwick, Rev. Prof, on the suc- 
cession of fossil species, 197. 

Sensation, a property of animal mind, 
187 ; known only by its manifes- 
tations, 232 ; physiological expla- 
nations presuppose it, 232-234 ; 
its relation to Creation and Prov- 
idence, 233. 

Sensibility to pain involved in sen- 
sibility to pleasure, 181 ; of each 
class of nerves specific, 230, 254. 

Silurian system, 69. 

Smith, Dr. J. P., on John i. 1-3, 31 ; 
273, 282. 

Species, increase of, 197. 

Spontaneous generation, 222-225. 

Stewart, D., on the pervading na- 
ture of the Divine agency, 106; 
on the regularity of physical laurs, 

Strickland, on classification, 227 ; re- 
lation of organic distribution and 
physical conditions, 292. 

Stuart, Prof. M., on the original act 
of creation, 276. 

Subordination, law of, stated, 60 ; 
illustrated from inorganic nature, 
93 ; from organic life, 159 ; from 
sentient existence, 208. 

Succession of vegetable worlds, 171. 

Supreme right, 42. 

Swain son, on gnimal adaptation and 
enjoyment, 250. 

Tertiary strata, 67; fossil flora of, 

143; fossil fauna of, 196. 
Theology, natural, 262-266. 
Tholuck, Prof, on the " Logos." 31, 


Ticdemann, on the ultimate charac- 
ter of life, 233. 

Transmutation of species, 216, 291 
of individual organs, unknown, 

Ultimate end, proximate ends con- 
cur with the, 214. 

Ultimate facts, law of, stated, 56; 
illustrated from inorganic nature, 
102-110; from organic life, 159; 
from sentient existence, 232. 

Ultimate purpose, 20. 

Unending display of Divine all-suf- 
ficiency, 21. 

Uniformity, law of, stated, 61 ; illus- 
trated from inorganic nature, 93- 
95; from organic life, 150; from 
sentient existence, 209. 

Unity of organic composition, 138. 

Universe dependent, 18 ; its consti- 
tution mediatorial, 29 ; self-acting, 
without analogy, 106; material, 
magnitude of, 121. 

Vegetable, did it precede animal, 
life? 133; variety of, 164, 172- 
worlds, succession of, 172. 

Velocities of the heavenly bodies, 

Vertebral classes, order of succes- 
sion, 197. 

" Vestiges of the Natural History of 
Creation," on continuity and deve- 
lopment, 84 ; on the relative dis- 
tances of the planets, 86 ; creation 
made independent, 103 ; anthro- 
pomorphizing views of, 105-109 ; 
embryotic hypothesis of, 219. 

Vital functions, involuntary, 251. 

Well-being, law of, stated, 53 ; illus- 
trated from inorganic nature, 96 ; 
from organic life, 152 ; from sen- 
tient existence, 212. 

Whewell, Rev. Dr., on crystalliza 
tion, 79 ; on laws of nature, 95 ; on 
gravitation, 101 ; contingency of 
natural laws, ib. ; on organization, 
137, 138, 141 ; on final causes, 138, 
282; on instinct, 185. 

Wisdom, what, 129 ; its display to 
be expected, ib. ; displayed, but 



not exclusively, in organic life, 
131; creative, all-sufficiency of, 
164-166, 173-175; display of, not 
absolutely infinite, 165, 173; infin- 
ity of, inferrible, 173; unlimited, 
in relation to time, 174; increas- 

ed display of, 243, 256. 
Wiseman, Rev. Dr., on the inter 

val between the original and thb 

Adamic creation, 281. 
Words, progressive enlargement of 

their meaning, 196. 


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